Monday, June 28, 2010

Very, Um, Thought-Provoking

The following article is very well researched and written:

I've been thinking about this for a while. I work in technology. I'm fully immersed in it daily - at work and at home, and it seems like my mind has become constantly exhausted and distracted. I have been trying to come up with a more balanced approach to it all. Instead of being on-call for work all of the time, we now have a rotation that allows one in every three weeks to be completely unplugged from work in the evenings. That's been extremely helpful (not to mention the availability pay when I am on call!). Now we are going to a work-from-home rotation which will mirror our on-call rotation - meaning I will go in to the office one out of every three weeks and work from home the other two weeks. This will certainly reduce the stress of my job and save gas money. In addition to this welcome work schedule adjustment I've cut back on television. I've cancelled my Facebook account (for a variety of reasons). And I mostly use Twitter and Google Buzz for my blog. So I'm down to my blog site, my music site, and a work rotation that helps me take a mental break from technology on a more consistent basis. This is helping, but it's still not enough. I'm trying to break my schedule down even further to a set amount of time to write on my blog, work on my music, read (really read - which has become surprisingly more difficult), and have significant time with my wife (while balancing friends, church, etc.). This is all still in the works, but I am trying and making strides.

I'm finding there is a danger at times to moving so quickly from one thing to the next without focusing on one thing at a time. Scientific studies actually show that our brains are not designed to multi-task well. Rather, they are designed for focusing and finishing on what's at hand. That doesn't mean that the brain can not or should not multi-task on some level, but the degree that we try to do so today causes our brains to actually be re-wired and conditioned to do a lot more in the moment with less retention over time. I can say from personal experience that I have felt this to some extent in the last couple of years. One way I'm trying to combat this is by working in my flower gardens and on my landscaping. Yes it is work, but very rewarding, focused work. I try several times a week to get outside and get dirty - I put on my ear phones and listen to my IPod (music or messages - it doesn't matter). This allows me to unplug and focus on something personal and see tangible results while feeding the brain in a somewhat passive but effective way. A lot of times I leave the IPod in the house and Erin and I will work outside together, which is even better because it feeds our relationship. Technology is great, but it must be used in moderation (like most things). Is your life nothing but one constant distraction between your computer, your smart phone, your social networking status updates, your DVR, your Blue Ray player, your Netflix queue, your internet cafe visits , your blog posts , your RSS feeds, etc.? Incorporating a Time Budget can be just as important as a financial budget. Don't waste your time trying to keep up with the latest technology buzz or social networking updates at the expense of keeping up with your faith, your family, and your friends - I'm talking real face-to-face and heart-to-heart time.

I enjoy reading one of my favorite authors and bloggers Jason Boyett. His blog is entitled, "O Me Of Little Faith." Recently he wrote about his recent vacation ("Things I Did On My Vacation"). I highly recommend that you read it. He talks about all of the things that he did with his family while away. He also writes about the things he did not do. Here is an excerpt:

"Things I Didn't Do on My Vacation:

1. Turn on a computer.

2. Browse the Internet.

3. Blog, T
weet, Facebook, or comment anywhere.

4. Write anything snarky when
lightning struck Touchdown Jesus in Ohio, which would totally have been something I blogged about but, of course, I was offline.

5. Regret all the time I wasn't spending online."

I especially liked what he had to say in the last couple of sentences on this blog entry:
"I'm back, but last week was a good break. Time is not a renewable resource. I'm learning not to waste it."

Indeed. What about you?

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