Stepping up your game by unplugging

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

We hear a lot about athletes working to improve their game, but well known NBA star LeBron James has found that unplugging – from his phone and all forms of social media – is a great way to focus more, step up his game and in the end, play better. 

In 2012, James shut down his phone for the entire duration of the playoffs and because of this extra amount of time to focus and practice, he was literally at the top of his game. Again in 2013, he did a lot. After asking what he did with his off-time, he was quoted saying, “Just read a little more than I did during the regular season. Not much sports talk radio. I watch the playoffs. I watch cartoons with my kids. I watch movies with the family but not much of what sports (broadcasters) are talking about.” (1)


In a world where we are attached to our phones, emails, and newest text messages, reading a story like this is refreshing.  Cutting back from our use of technology can strengthen so many areas of our lives. Consider your relationships with your family and friends. In what ways could your friendships grow if you took the time to disconnect from your device and make personal, one-on-one time with people? Or, ask yourself how much more focused you could be if your attention wasn’t being pulled away every 20 seconds to your phone or work e-mail. 


Take time for yourself and your family. Disconnect from technology for a while, take a vacation, and work on strengthening your home or other areas of your personal life.  Whether you want to improve your golf game, help mend a broken relationship, or just simply invest more time in building a healthier self, detaching a little from technology is well worth it and you’ll reap the benefits almost immediately. 


Sonny, Julian. “LeBron James is Cutting Off His Phone And All Social Media During Playoffs.” Elite Daily. April 25, 2013.  Accessed June 8, 2014.

Article by Brooke Strickland and Andrew Doan MD PhD