Time Magazine did a piece entitled NEVER OFF LINE which addressed the fact that too many professionals never put down the gadgets, and it’s only going to get worse as technology evolves into Apple Watches and more.
But Erica Ariel Fox argues that professionals who are “never offline” spend far too much time reacting and far too little time leading or solving problems. They get seduced by the tactical, forgetting to put the gadgets away in order to think deeply about strategic issues. They start to accept relating to other people in the “virtual” world, neglecting the intimacy that personal relationships require to thrive – the kind you create face-to-face. They make decisions in a frenzied, buzzing state of mind, underestimating the impact that constant connectivity has on the functionality of the brain.
If you’re interested in being OFF LINE MORE – here are three places to get started.
1. Set aside no-technology zones. The dinner table. The bedroom. Even the bathroom. No place seems safe from the intrusion of the gadgets. Start small by carving out a space or two where no technology is allowed. You can also carve out no-technology zones in time. Sunday mornings before noon. Evenings after ten pm. Notice what’s different in those places or times after you protect these zones for a while.
2. Actually talk to your colleagues. Each day, reclaim some time for real human connection. If you’ve developed the habit of texting or instant messaging a colleague who sits down the hall, stand up and go visit her desk for a quick conversation instead of holding a virtual exchange. If you’re stuck on an endless thread of messages about a project, ask the people in the office to get off email and meet in the conference room. Yes, the people you work with aren’t necessarily nearby. But that’s no excuse to stop relating in person with the people who are physically located in your building.
3. Eat meals without your Smartphone (or soon to be Smart Watch) nearby. Your heart and mind get overstimulated by constant incoming information. This disturbs the needed rest or “recovery” time you need between bursts of productive focus. When you sit down for lunch, whether you’re alone or with other people, turn the screens off and let yourself settle down. Instead of jumping from one hyperlink to another, see how you feel as your breathing slows down, your thoughts come a bit more slowly, and you reflect on things instead of taking in something new.
Piece excerpted from / and special thanks to Erica Ariel Fox’s Blog.
More on Erica can be found here: http://www.ericaarielfox.com/