One of the issues that I have when it comes to my work and career is the ability to disconnect. How does one do so? Sometimes with your job, you’re so involved, mentally, that you can let it dictate your life. I sometimes find myself being stressed out on a Saturday for something that didn’t even happen yet. Does anyone else feel this way?! My interview with Andi was a great punch in the gut. She singlehandedly made me realise how to switch into a lower gear, and made me realise the absolute importance of ‘unplugging’
Andrea West, the founder of Mind Unplugged, and a whiz in the tech industry, lives her life with a purpose, and that purpose is to ensure her family receives the most attention from her, and ensure she spends quality time with her spouse and son. Everything else is just a bonus, and that’s why I have the utmost respect for Andi. She doesn’t allow external situations to stress her out or control her. Her ability to unplug left me in aw, and here’s how she does it.
Andi has a daily routine that starts with meditation in the morning. We actually chatted more about her meditation techniques when the mic was off because I was so interested in how she starts her day. One of the things I’ll take away from Andi is that meditation doesn’t have to be sitting cross-legged, smelling incense and playing a track of the sound of water (that was literally what I thought it was!), but meditation can be anything. Whether you’re at the gym, on a run, grocery shopping, as long as you clear your mind, that is considered meditation. After work, Andi completely shuts off from her work. At dinner, there are no phones, and before bed, her phones go into a drawer so she’s not checking before bed. Andi also does further meditation during the day to clear her mind. The importance of ‘clearing your mind’ is mind-boggling, and something I personally need to work on!
Here are some of the key takeaways from my interview with Andi West:
- Reduce your email checks– If you’re anything like me, your email is on ‘push’ all day, every day. One of the changes I’ve recently made is taking ‘push’ off at 6pm (you can set the times on your phone), and that has significantly helped with my stress levels. I am no longer worrying about what’s coming in, and what needs to go out. After work, it’s important to spend that time on family, hobbies and yourself!
- Digital Overload is real!– Take constant ‘tech breaks’ from the technology that surrounds you. I understand this may be tough to do at work (since we all heavily rely on tech to get the job done), but instead of checking your phone everytime you hear a notification, challenge yourself not to check it instantly…and folks, I’ve tried this and it’s uber-tough!
- Buy an old-fashioned alarm clock– This one was a tad funny, and Andi totally called me out! Andi mentioned many times during the interview the importance of going to bed without your phone. You don’t need your phone as an alarm clock, poor excuse, really. From issues it can cause with your eyes, to increasing stress levels, it was something I needed to try out for myself. Albeit, it lasted a week, this is something I will work on because I do see the importance of it, and the change it can create.
All in all, a lot to learn from this amazing woman! Andi has changed the way I live both at work, and outside of work. Challenge yourself and you will be amazed at how much time you have to spend on what really matters…and that’s family.
If you’d like to contact Andi, please see below for her contact info:
Facebook: Andrea West
LinkedIn: Andrea West