Learning to Love Your Boundaries10/27/2017
Are You Growing In Your Ability to Communicate Effectively?12/08/2017
I spent the last few days away in the mountains. I say “away” because while the destination was only a 4.5-hour drive, we were without cell phone coverage and technology.
Taking a tech break is something many of us talk about today. As we know technology’s constancy and addictiveness, we also know the value (and the need) for a break.
Here’s a tip: We only know those things that we actually do. So, if you say you know that you should take a tech break, but don’t take one, then you don’t know it, you just think it.
I will be the first to admit that taking that break was not easy. There was something about being dis-connected that initially felt stressful. Wanting to understand and then mitigate this stress, I thought deeply about “why?” and “what’s really underneath this tension?”
A couple of things (probably obvious to most) came to mind:
- This was a change – I’m not often out of range
- I wasn’t in control – There was nothing I could do to (poof!) make connectivity appear
- What if my family needs me? Of course, we resorted to the old-fashioned method…”here is the office # for the campground, call me here if needed.” I wasn’t
I have clients who are working on this as I write. For example, one is learning to not look at her phone when she first wakes at 5 a.m. and before heading to the gym. She has noticed that she is more present and engaged in her workout if she doesn’t check her email before and is more relaxed arriving at the office.
Another client is delaying checking her phone until after she spends early morning time writing. She reports a marked increase in “feeling calmer and settled” as well as being able to think more creatively throughout her day.
The American Psychological Association has released their comprehensive 2017 report on technology, social media and stress.
One key finding: Americans want to unplug more often. Of the 3500-people polled, two-thirds say they agree that taking an occasional digital detox is good for their mental health. However, less than 30% say they actually do so.
Remembering the BIG tip above and our theme of learning, I ask you to consider:
- How much stress are you experiencing from your connection to technology?
- What can you gain from taking a break?
- How can you build breaks into your routine?
- What do you need to learn in order to do this?
Here are 3 possibilities to get you started:
- Partner with a buddy to practice disconnecting
- Leave your phone in the car when going into restaurants
- Implement a no-phone policy while in the car (GPS excluded).
Simple suggestions with potentially big results. As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback.