Recently we confiscated our 14-year-old son’s iPod.
Why? By giving him free reign over his electronic device it became more and more difficult for him to unhook from online gaming and its trance-like qualities.
We are living in an epidemic of electronic input. Humans have never had to process the amount of information and images that we are served up every minute through our online accessibility and connection to the Internet. Statistics, extrapolations and counting from an April 2010 estimate the number of emails sent per day (in 2010) to be around 294 billion.
294 billion messages per day means more than 2.8 million emails are sent every second and some 90 trillion emails are sent per year. Around 90% of these millions and trillions of message are but spam and viruses.
[Tweet “Take conscious actions to turn off devices during the day to de-stress!”]
Turn it off!
Even the most conscious people have allowed electronics to creep into our days and our lives. Our days are filled with emails, text messages, voicemails, instant messages, social media messages, tweets…the list goes on and on. It’s actually exhausting just listing all the portals of access available!
When it comes right down to it, it’s very easy to allow these to be huge drains on our time, not to mention our mental energy. When you allow yourself to be interrupted consistently, you put your brain into a state of alert. – Constant interruptions have proven to increase heart rate, adrenaline and cortisol, the hormones that generate a ‘fight or flight’ response in our systems. When you are on constant alert, you are robbed of the ability to focus on doing your best work.
I recently attended a conference and inadvertently had left my phone home on the charger. The difference of being totally unplugged AMAZED ME. I was able to concentrate and not distracted. I felt as though I was truly connecting with other attendees, and as such TRULY was able to be in the moment and enjoy the experience.
The trick is to actually CREATE that space, presence and time more often, and access your devices when you NEED to, not every time you are able to.
Your Sanity Assignment
Make a commitment this morning to simply turn things off.
Come up with a list of the 5 ways you will manage the constant communication conundrum that we all find ourselves in during our day.
Can you set aside a short window of time to check email? If so, when would you do it?
Can you sign out of your chat program during designated hours? IF so, set up chat hours when you are available and open for communication with others.
Protect your time today by formulating your communications plan…then stick to it!
How do you balance the input and outflow? How do you make time for deep work? What advice can you share with our readers? Please share your insights and comments below!