When did I become slaves to the tools and equipment that were supposed to be serving me?
It’s been an interesting experiment again this week, where I have given myself permission to NOT look at a phone or be online while I have been en route somewhere. It’s been really really hard!
Sitting still for 10 – 30 minutes without looking at my phone, checking emails, reviewing FaceBook, Linked In or blog post comments.
Sitting still for 10-30 minutes and not talking on the phone.
Sitting still for 10-30 minutes and looking out a window, enjoying the sun on my face, feeling the breeze on my skin and enjoying the scent of spring in the air.
Like so many of us, I am aware that my smart phone is constantly in front of me, and of course that means I am accessible to the internet, phone calls and all manner of other communication options (including social media).
Because it’s in front of me I feel compelled to respond to it immediately.
Because it’s in front of me and I see a flashing red light, I feel compelled to act with a sense of urgency.
When did I become so needy for constant contact?
What am I so afraid of? When did I become a slave to the tools originally designed to serve me? Is every email, text message, FaceBook post or tweet really urgent? Can they wait? How long can they wait?
What would life be like if I didn’t live with a sense of urgency that is created by my tools and equipment?
What would happen if:
I didn’t answer my phone but let it go to voice mail and return calls in my time on my terms?
I didn’t have email access on my phone, and then planned specific time to respond to emails?
I enjoyed looking out the window of the plane/ bus/ train/ car while I am travelling
I can tell you what happened to me as a result of my experiment this week:
My business survived!
I am calmer and I feel a lot more in control! (Yeah it surprised me too!)
My ‘To Do’ list is just as big. My schedule just as tight and I still think of a minute like a balloon that is to be filled up so tight that it doesn’t quite burst but nothing else can fit in there.
The expectations on my “performance’ and “output” may have increased a little but I have not been so distracted by the compounding effect of more and more details which has enabled me to focus more on the specific task at hand and actually drive efficiency.
After reflecting on all this I say, let’s embrace these gadgets as tools whose purpose is to drive efficiency and effectiveness.
I like the sound of a world where they serve me but not enslave me.