Monday, August 13, 2012

The “In-box” Diet

I’m on a self imposed diet: a technology diet. I don’t know what we ever did before cell-phones, text messages, email and GPS or how we ever survived before we were able to instantly contact each other! However, I suspect we had an easier way of taking charge of our lives and resting our brains. We were able to “disconnect.”

Today we practically sleep with our technology. I know at least one person who never goes to bed without taking his iPhone with him. Perhaps you do the same? Is it no wonder why we can feel drained of energy and rapt with stress? It’s Pavlovian the way we MUST respond every time the phone dings, rings or vibrates!

I’ve decided: not me.

I’ve at least decided to turn off my phone before going to bed. What about emergencies you ask? Well, emergencies always happen and most of the time there is nothing you can do about it at the time – except worry. Besides, I am much better at handling a crisis when I’m well rested.

As for email, I’ve decided to stop letting it dominating my life, too. For example, writing this blog I can be bombarded by audible “dings” of newly arriving emails. They, at this particular time, are nothing but distractions from the task at hand. It puts me at a constant state of anticipation. Who or what could it be that needs my attention right this minute?!?! And, before you know it, I’ve abandoned my work in favor of responding to little things like; “What did you do over the weekend?”

No. I’ve decided to break the cycle. I chose to disconnect and give myself time to think. You should consider doing the same. Try checking your email only at specific times of the day and turn off the notices for the rest of the time. This may be hard to do at first. After all, in our society of urgency and immediacy, we have all become somewhat “addicted” to our instant technology.

However, if you can take back the reigns of your life, you will find that limiting technology’s access to you will increase your ability to recharge your energy, think clearly, and focus on the task at hand: living life well.

As Always - Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal

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