A post on 99% by James Victore gave us pause last week. He writes about how as we spend more and more time staring at screens (our computers, our phones, iPads, etc), our brains change too: we forget how to function without immediate access to “information.” Because we are always plugged in to our various networks or jobs, we no longer distinguish between what needs to happen NOW and what can wait…what we feel compelled to do vs what is good for us. We appreciate that Victore doesn’t tell us to simply throw away our technology:
Don’t get me wrong, I love the tools… Going backwards is not the answer. The answer is being conscious of the time spent on screens versus the time spent on ourselves. Can you create more time in your life? Time to plan and organize your life? Can you make more time to give to others? The answers are discipline, etiquette, and understanding the importance of time in our lives.
These are good questions and Victore offers some good answers; the gist is that we actually need to say ‘no’ to have fuller lives.
The real question for us, though, is “what/when is enough?“, and hence time to say “no”? When we’ve spent hours consuming digital information, we reach a point where we need to internally check in and tell ourselves we’ve had enough…then close the computer, take a walk, or call up a friend. It’s a practice.
We use the same check-in strategy about acquiring more things. When we feel compelled to buy something, we ask ourselves if we already have enough already. Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it’s no, but asking the question gets us off the “more more more” path that we have been programmed to be on.
Often we discover that enough is…
Related posts: david allen’s potent questions for a new year
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an antidote to busyness
designing slow life