Airplane mode isn’t just for airplanes

If you’re like me, then you like to keep your phone handy, but not because you want to stay reachable. I use my phone to capture notes and ideas during the day (and to snap a quick photo of my kid whenever she’s doing something cute), so I don’t like to be without it. But I know I’m not the only one who thinks that “reachable” is usually just a nice way of saying “interruptable.”

Lately, I’ve been putting my phone into airplane mode from time to time. My phone stays perfectly functional, but calls and push notifications don’t get through to me, and I can’t get online in a moment of weakness or boredom.┬áDuring that window, my time is mine.

It’s a simple and obvious thing, and I’m sure a lot of you are already doing it regularly. But if you’re not, give it a try. You can totally go without news and Twitter bickering for half an hour, and you owe it to yourself to do so now and then.

Today’s a Sunday, which means it’s a great day to shut down for a while. If you can’t take a break from the web on a Sunday, when can you do it? Give yourself half an hour in airplane mode today, and if it suits you, try a longer break tomorrow, and a longer break the day after that.

It’s nice to be connected to what’s important, but these days you often have to disconnect in order to do that. If I were a true social media guru with a penchant for horrible wordplay, I’d argue that airplane mode is the key to “grounding” yourself in what really matters. But I’m not, thank God, so I won’t.

How do you maintain your signal to noise ratio? What are the tips, tricks and habits you use to claim your own time without feeling disconnected? Feel free to sound off in the comments (and don’t be offended if it takes me a while to reply).

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