We need time to defuse, to contemplate. Just as in sleep our brains relax and give us dreams, so at some time in the day we need to disconnect, reconnect, and look around us.
– Laurie Colwin
We are drowning in information.
The digital floodgates have well and truly opened.
The result is most of us are overstimulated, hyperconnected, stressed and in drastic need of a reset.
Sleep helps but what’s the first thing many of us reach for in the morning on waking? Our smartphones.
The technology we now have available to us is truly incredible. How we use it is not always so incredible.
The Problem: Are we using technology to improve our lives or are we letting the technology run our lives?
If you leave the house and realise you’ve left your phone home and feel a deep sense of panic then maybe it’s time to step back. Surely this is no reason to panic in the grand scheme of life.
If you are constantly checking digital channels and inboxes through the entire course of a day (email, blogs, Twitter) and obsessively checking for updates and hitting refresh buttons maybe it’s also time to take a step back.
Are we really going to get to the end of our lives and wish we had spent more time online?
The Answer: Planned Downtime
Both our minds and bodies need time to occasionally disconnect. They need time to process, rest and reset.
How do we do this? We plan for it.
We disconnect from the online world a little. We tune out or switch off. We stop staring at a screen. We recharge.
How we use the downtime is also critical to ensuring we feel refreshed.
This is time to reflect. Time to walk, to breathe in some fresh air. Time to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Time to enjoy a non-stressful pastime or hobby.
This is not an anti-technology rant. Technology can and does make our lives better and easier if used appropriately. How we use it is up to us. Let’s use it wisely.
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