Unplug, Pause, Disengage, and Receive
Too busy being busy
Meetings, minutes, reports, schoolwork, daycare, commuting to work, dinner, after school activities, who has time for exercise, reading, or meditation, let alone unplugging from life? Here’s the million-dollar question, “Who upgraded the meaning of life so much that it became so overwhelmingly busy that time to disconnect has to be scheduled?” Who made this the new standard? Here’s a better question, why did we allow them to do so and why have we accepted it as our new norm? More and more recruiters and resumes include words like fast paced or high demand, so much so, that it too, has become the norm. Before the company knows who their ideal candidate is, they have already put the pressure on them to be able to function in an environment that is quickly changing and for them to come up to speed expeditiously. Hmmm, no wonder some companies have high turnover. Yes, technology is changing, companies are growing, and demand is increasing. However, from the company perspective, how often is employee appreciation provided? Once a year based on the calendar date, or perhaps a lunch here or there, or some refreshments every now and then? What about giving the team the day off after mandatory overtime? Why are these things which used to be the norm, now practically unheard of? Isn’t it funny how years ago, people shook their heads at what was called sweatshops and felt sorry for those people who had timed bathroom breaks and worked long hours, and now, has this, too, a sweatshop mentality - is it becoming the norm? God-forbid if someone takes a lunch break at the time a need must be met. Build the time into your schedule to actually spend time and have conversation with your family and friends, without it having to be a wedding or funeral to do so and without it only occurring once in a while.
Create the time
Who has the time to disconnect for longer than 15 minutes, of which 10 of those minutes, you will be itching to check your phone? Have you ever tried to intentionally turn your phone off for an hour? Have you tried to disconnect your iPad for the evening and actually watch a movie or television show in real time? (*Gasp*) I know, I know, but wait, before you think I have totally lost my mind, I challenge you to try it! Watch your favorite television show in real time. Agree no electronic devices at dinner. Actually call someone to have a conversation instead of sending them a text. (*Another Gasp*) The point is, sometimes we are busy and consumed by things that if we remove ourselves from them, they will still get done, and we will have the lower stress and pleasure of doing some of our favorite things. When is the last time you reached out to that family member or friend that you saw at the last Family Reunion or Cookout; where you said you would keep in touch? You live in the same vicinity, create the time to catch lunch together.
Perhaps you used to read all of the time, now you don’t know the last book you read that wasn’t for a degree or for training for work. Whether you read the physical book or the Kindle version, create the time to read the book. Yes, audible is also an option, but are you really going to take notes if you listen to it probably not, especially if you are driving or cooking or doing something else at the same time. Create time to read the Bible with your mate, or your friends and discuss it. Create time to read to your children more than just at bedtime. Whether you are watching television in real time, reading, journaling, writing, speaking poetry, taking pictures, create the time to disconnect. You will be surprised the little things you notice and the downloaded nuggets you receive when you intentionally remove distractions. Quiet time is the best created time to slow the mind and receive necessary downloads.
Call To Action: Which method will you practice disconnecting more frequently?
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
~Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)