How are you today? Thanks for visiting.
Who do you know that DOES NOT have any electronic devices in their lives... anyone?
I can think of only one couple in our circle of influence that have deliberately resisted the electronic age... and part of me is jealous thinking of the resulting simplicity in their lives.
Yes, they have a phone and phone message machine, but they choose to not have a computer, cell phone, Blackberry, etc... even though they are business people! Can you imagine?!?!
These electronic instruments were supposed to simplify our lives, but so many people have become slaves to them instead. More paper is being consumed than ever before, even though digital information and filing was supposed to solve the problem. Intead of offering an easier way of life, these devices have taken over many people's lives, sucking up their time and energy, causing less productivity and an over-saturation of detail.
Being at risk myself, I have adopted a few electronic rules for myself that I want to share with you... maybe they will prompt you to think about how you are managing using these tools, especially in your search for more life balance. Of course, those of you that rely a lot on your pagers and cell phones for your business will have unique challenges to apply my ideas... but I DO challenge you to experiment!
1. Set Clear Time Boundaries -
How easy it is to be at the beck and call of the cell phone and the pager and the computer, and, and, and... UNLESS I set clear boundaries between "on" time, and "off" time. I got clear... the evenings are mine, that's it! My phone machine picks up for me and the emails accumulate overnight. Things can and will wait until the morning. Who wants to be at the mercy of being continually on call!? Not me, and I suggest that you consider doing the same. Every person needs time to unhook, you included!
2. Do Not Give Your Cell Phone Number Out To Just Anyone -
I urge you to make your cell phone for "emergencies only" rather than give your number out to everyone. Make it clear to your friends and family that they are welcome to call you on that number ONLY if it is really important. Leave your phone off and let people leave messages, especially when you are in your personal time.
3. Have "Unplugged Days" -
Sunday is my day to be completely unplugged from all electronic devices... and it feels good and important to my sanity! I highly encourage you to do the same. I assure you, one day each week will not cause your world to fall apart, your business to crash and contacts to hate you. Quite the contrary, they will respect you for setting personal recovery goals, time to be with family, for recuperating from your busy week, etc. Likely you will find yourself more productive on those days that you're working because you've given yourself time to step back and unhook. Experiment! You'll find yourself SOOO much more refreshed and maybe even less resentful when you do have to be "plugged back in" again.
4. Set Email Response Parameters -
Educate your co-workers, friends and family members of the frequency that you check your emails and that you do your best to respond quickly, but to not expect instant answering. A good way to deal with this is to put a note in your signature line to the effect of, "I look forward to getting back to you. Please bear with me... I'm moving as fast as I can." Of course, find your own words for your unique situation.
Well, there you have it... a few ideas to help you with the electronic age. We become a slave to our instruments only to the degree that we allow ourselves to be. Do something about it if you are plagued with overwhelm... I wish you good progress.
Here's finding balance with the tools of your trade!
your Personal Change Consultant
Inner Fitness(R) Programs