Unplugged

It seems like everyone has an iPhone or a Blackberry. We IM, and Tweet, and stay in touch 24/7. We seem to be doing a whole lot more work than we ever did before, but I’m not at all sure what we think we’re accomplishing. I find myself wondering how much of that constant communication is useful and how much is just background noise.   Have you ever paused to think whether your life is better now than it was before you were “connected†every minute of the day? Are you happier or more content? Do Tweets really enrich your relationships? Has this constant activity made the world a better place?   Or are you too tired to even think about the answers to these questions? I seem to hear that complaint from a lot of people lately—printers, vendors, friends, family. We’re exhausted. We feel frazzled and put upon. Many people participate in these activities not because they want to, but because they feel pressured to do so. And too many of us allow that pressure to build to the point of obsession, which is where the whole 24/7 nightmare begins.   Maybe it’s time to take a step back and evaluate this part of your life, just like you step back to evaluate the condition of your business. (You are doing that, right?)   Summer is finally here; the time of year when most folks take a little time off and have a vacation. So, how about doing yourself a favor this year? When you take your vacation, whatever form it may take, use it as an opportunity to unplug the electronic umbilical cords. Tell your Internet followers when you’ll be back and then sign off (or turn it over to an employee while you’re gone). Power down the computer. Put the iPhone in a drawer. And give yourself some honest down time in order to recharge your own batteries. You may be surprised by just how good that can feel. Who knows? You might be inspired to go “unplugged†for a little while every day. And that just might make your world a better place all year ‘round.

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