We hope that many of you had the opportunity to take a break from work on Labor Day and celebrate the end of summer by relaxing with friends and family, but we have a feeling that many of you didn't. We all know how hard it is to escape from the stressors of everyday life, even during national holidays or when we're on vacation, as more and more of us bring work home with us and check our blackberries on the beach. We expected to be busy and productive over the Labor Day weekend, and were actually looking forward to the long weekend to "catch up on work," but we were forced by circumstances out of our control to power down, instead.
We went on a family trip to a small town in the desert, and when we got there with our laptop and our blackberry raring to go, we realized that we had no phone service, no internet access, and our blackberry didn't even have one tiny shred of a bar. Of course, we panicked. We had work to do, after all, and what if we missed something - an important work email or some critical piece of news? Well, as soon as we came to terms with the fact that there was nothing we could do about our lack of power, we settled into this strange new feeling, and after a while it felt like a huge burden was lifted. We were free. And we found that over the next few days, time moved slower without the constant over stimulation. We stopped obsessing about checking our email, texting, and looking useless shit up on our I-phone. Instead, we became present in each moment, and as a result, each one became so much more satisfying.
Do you remember the last time you had a long conversation with someone during which they didn't check their phone, the last time you woke up calmly without immediately running to turn on your computer, or the last time you ate a meal without the TV on in the background? If you are reading this post, it's likely that your life is inundated with technology that makes things more efficient but also pulls you away from real life. So our advice to you this week is not to wait until you go somewhere without power, and choose to power down, instead.
Do it this weekend, or next weekend, or whenever you can plan on it. Turn your blackberry and your laptop and maybe even your phone off on Friday night, and leave them that way until Monday morning. Actually make plans ahead of time so that you can spend quality time with your family and friends without the distractions of technology. You'll find yourself sleeping more peacefully, having more meaningful and in-depth conversations, and enjoying every moment more simply by being present. You'll be amazed at how recharged you'll feel on Monday from simply powering down.