Do you spend your day buried in your social network, email, or text messages?
Do you have a better relationship with your technology than you do with yourself?
Does your pulse race with every looming to-do item in your face?
If you’re like me, you have become addicted to overdrive, struggling to maintain the quiet space in your life, running from it, believing you have too much to do to just “be.”
#1 What Does Downtime Mean To You?
Do you consider going to the gym your downtime? The answer is NO if you’ve tied it to any outcome, even positive ones, such as staying healthy, fit, or losing weight.
Anything with a goal attached is still task orientated. If you’re someone who exercises “just to clear your mind”, and have not associated it with something you check off your list of accomplishments, then I might agree it could be considered “down time”.
Is it really as powerful as sitting in a dark room for 10 minutes doing nothing? Thinking about nothing. Searching for nothing. Just letting you be you, feeling you, and absorbing any insights or energy that comes your way. Even short 15 minute power naps are a gift you give to your body and mind to recharge them.
Try finding space for you 10 minutes a day. Once it becomes a habit, try doing it twice a day, eventually moving towards 3 times. Yes, in the beginning actually doing it will feel like a “task” to some of you. Which is exactly how an addict might feel struggling to avoid their next fix, right?
“If you think you can’t, you must.” ~ Tony Robbins
#2 Do you pride yourself on your ability to multi-task?
Look at your to-do list just for today. Do you have more than five things on it? Can you do everything on your list and have the time and space to enjoy it?
I doubt it. Most of us want to get every possibility onto a piece of paper, so we can go at them one by one. In effect we are guilty of setting ourselves up to fail by creating our own stalking system, haunted and taunted by all the things we didn’t do. We begin to associate the value of our day with the amount of things we did. The more we do, the better we are, right?
Wrong – accomplishments rarely lead to fulfillment and expectations usually only lead to being upset. Fulfillment is tied to your spirit and can only be filled through the heart connections you make to you and those all around you.
The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of your relationships. If your need to decorate the Christmas tree, clean out the closet or make the perfect meal becomes your focus, then ask yourself “why”?
If you believe having the perfect dinner, holiday, or home is your key to happiness, perhaps you should take a look at whom you are trying to make happy. Kids don’t care about details; they only want to feel good. Mom freaking out over a half- decorated tree does little to inspire the spirit of Christmas.
Limit the time you spend each day “attacking” what you need to get done. Stop the clock for your “must-dos” at the same time every day, and transform the rest of your day into “want-to-dos”. Even if you commit two hours each night to doing nothing and only being, you will spice up your life with variety and spontaneity .
If you still can’t shake your time-line, just relax by saying, “Time will expand to meet my needs.” I have taught this to my kids, and can count on them to give me “gentle” reminders during my “off hours”.
#3 Is Technology Your Life Line?
If you are stuck in traffic or bored in line, do you start tweeting or jump on Facebook to “see what’s going on?”
Is email your cocaine? Do you use it as a to-do list – jumping in whenever you have a break in the day just to check in?
There are many experts who would tell you boredom is why we overeat, smoke, and even fight. Our fear of doing “nothing” drives us to create habits that don’t serve us. For those of you addicted to overdrive, you might believe, “If the sign of a messy desk is a messy mind, then what does an empty desk mean?”
Giving yourself a digital detox by turning off your phone, ignoring your inbox, and even pretending you don’t own a TV will give you the freedom to open up space for yourself, to give yourself permission to let things just happen.
Even if you could only do this one hour per day to start, it’s a start. Turn off your devices, unplug them, make it difficult for you to take a “sneak peak.” Try and set boundaries with disruptive people in your life who consider you their 24-hour-a-day lifeline. Focus on filling yourself up with fulfillment of a moment enjoyed and the occasional coincidence or surprise adding a level of serendipity that makes you believe miracles really can happen in minutes if you trust, have faith, and put yourself in a position to receive.
What can you do to simply your life, detox from technology and be present in the moments that really matter?
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