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Unplug to Recharge

Spend a day in any mall, supermarket, theme park, restaurant, on the road, actually spend a day anywhere and you will notice phones and tablets in front of people’s faces. Technology has grown to a point where it has begun to trump real life events in real time.

unnamed-3I recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I was astonished by the amounts of people faces down looking at their phones, droning through the crowds. If only I could have sent out a mass text that read, “Put down the phone, look up and you might enjoy what you see.” I mentioned to my soon-to-be sister-in-law that I would like to start a theme park where cell phones and tablets are not allowed. She replied, “You can’t do that, people need it for safety”. I had forgotten that when Disney World opened in 1971 that the touch screen cell phone was in everyone’s hands already. Because our parents definitely could not have possibly functioned at the parks without them. (Sarcasm is a second language of mine)

I want to preface this blog entry by saying I am not advocating going “off the grid” and removing all technology from your life. I realize that phones, tablets, computers and all forms of technology can be great tools for bettering one’s self. I am simply suggesting that there is a balance to uphold and maintain being well energized and recharged in your daily life. Sometimes you have to power down technology in order to recharge your body and mind.

Here are a few things you might want to try or practice to help restore energy and balance to your daily life at work and outside of work.

IN THE WORK PLACE

  • Try to take at least a total of 30 minutes a day to physically converse with fellow co-workers face to face. This interaction with your co-workers helps build your personal relationships and trust in one another.
  • When speaking with a co-worker give them your undivided attention, put your phone down and look away from your computer. If someone comes to you to ask you a question, make a recommendation or just talk to you about something. Either tell them to come back to you at a time you can give them your undivided attention, or, stop what you are doing, look them in the eyes and listen.
  • When on a break, disconnect from technology. Go outside when possible to enjoy your break. Taking a break from staring at your screen is not only good for your eyes, it will recharge you and help you get more work done when you return to your computer.
  • In meetings, have phones powered off and hold all calls until after the meeting. This applies to all tiers of employees. As an owner or manager, you can’t expect your employees to value the meeting if you don’t as well. Respect everyone’s time equally.

OUTSIDE OF WORK

  • Go camping and leave your phone in the car. Enjoy some moments in nature. You can learn a lot from the physical world in front of you and simply being out in nature.
  • Enjoy plays, concerts, and other shows without your phone. No need to record the moment if you’re living in it. Your brain has a pretty good back up system for storage already build in.
  • Don’t touch technology until you have to. Enjoy your morning! Wake up, shower, dress, have breakfast and do whatever your morning routine is without turning on a T.V., radio, computer, phone tablet, etc. Trust me you will thank me for this one.
  • Go on a car trip with only an atlas. “Atlas?”, you say. Yes, for some of you who are unfamiliar, this is a book full of maps that you can use for navigation. Drive around without your phone recommending where you are going. You will go on some great adventures if you do this. Trust me, I do this one all the time.
  • Enjoy people and their stories. I had a friend that decided to work on his social skills. One of the goals was to have a verbal conversation with one stranger a day. He is now a social butterfly!

I wish you all good luck on your life’s journey and hope you all find a way to unplug from technology and recharge your life.