What a world we live in today. We are bombarded with information; social media feeds, email, news channels, to name but a few. We are in constant contact with the world through our mobile phones or tablets. Everything needs to be fast, from email responses to walking along the street. Work is now dictated by the speed of internet connection and quarterly figures being made public. Are we drowning in a sea of bytes and gales of data? I think so.
It was not that long ago that when you made an arrangement to see someone, you turned up on time because you couldn’t tell them that you would be late. And you would certainly give them your full attention as there was not the constant buzzing of a contact device in your pocket. You would actually phone your family as they couldn’t see what you had been up to on Facebook. You had time to write a letter and you would have to wait for a response.
Do I like technology, gosh yes, I think it has huge benefits. It has broadened the world of business; it has made the world more transparent and connected us together, sometimes for the greater good. It has a dark side but that is for another thought piece. But I think we are too wedded to technology and the constant barrage of information and that’s what this piece if about.
We need to take Time away from screens and information. We need to take time to refresh our minds, spirits and even our health. If our minds are constantly battered with this stream of information then our brains have to process it and we have no time to think and ponder.
I have taken it upon myself to attempt to take at least one walk a week where I have no agenda and nowhere to go and don’t require a phone. I take this walk, which can be as short as 30 mins or many hours, to take time to think; to ponder what is going on with myself and my life, and to take stock of things. I generally come back refreshed, clear thinking and full of ideas.
Now, some people meditate and find solace in this practice. Although I am not a frequent practitioner as I once was, I think meditation is another great way to take time to centre yourself and the benefits to your mental health are well known.
I try and turn the phone off one day a week, or at the very least put it on silent and not look at it all day. I am not required to be ‘on call’ and so I can do this. Try it yourself and see what a difference it makes.
Recently I have heard or read of many successful people taking time for themselves or reclaiming time away from the battlefield of technology and plethora of communication. They might not work weekends, or evenings, or not look at email at night or whatever works for them, they all find that their business life benefits from taking the time.
Pick up a book instead of the tablet or kindle. Watch a sunset or a sunrise. Spend time talking to your partner or friends. Time is the most precious commodity that we posses and how we use that time is the thing that we can control.