“In the whole world right now there’s maybe three emergencies. Why would you think on this entire planet that you’re one of those three?”
- George Costanza
I was reading an Alec Baldwin feature in Men’s Journal this weekend and something he said struck me. He mentioned they have movie night at his house once a week and no phones or devices are allowed. And if history is a good teacher – and I think it is, this rule is enforced with more than a little gusto.
It got me thinking; we should all follow Alec’s lead and shut off the outside world more than we do. Family dinners, movie night, going to the gym, dates, the list goes on and on. Whatever you believe is important to those closest to you should be done without petty interruption. There’s a one in million chance an emergency is going to pop-up where someone has to get ahold of you when taking time with your tribe. You can turn off your phone.
Family dinners are sacred in my house. No phones, iPods — nothing. If the phone rings — we don’t answer it. We all need to resist the urge to constantly text and check our devices when spending quality time. It sends the message that the person on the other side of that text is more important than who you’re spending time with.
Let’s take it one step further: don’t just do this for those closest to you, but yourself as well. You need time to work on you, and you alone.
You do not need your cell phone at the gym or on a run. If that’s where your music is and you’re listening to it – fine, but for God’s sake, if not — unplug. Not for us 1 Do it for you. Give yourself an hour 2 of uninterrupted time to focus on you. Get your thoughts together, block out the world and recharge a bit.
Recharging mentally can be even better than recharging physically. By the time I hit the gym at lunch, I’ve already gotten thee kids to school, fought a little traffic, met with my team at the office and then been faced with whatever crisis work has thrown at me. I’ll bet your morning looks similar. Your brain needs that break to get through the rest of the day at its peak. Unplug.
This shouldn’t be earth-shattering information, but we tend to forget small things like this. To be honest, half the reason I’m writing this is to remind myself. Our kids are watching. Why do you think the little ones pretend to talk on cell phones: they want the very thing their parents covet most. Covet those devices less and connect more.
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