The Modern Age of the Internet Requires Offline Time
I’ve been thinking recently about how stressful the modern Internet age is. In the old days things moved slower; having recently turned 49 I’m in the position of remembering the pre-internet days when I used to build my own computers, and ran one of the first Bulletin Board Systems in New York called the Red Phone BBS. I actually remember in high school the only computers were very primitive ones that I occasionally ran into in computer labs.
I myself work in the technology industry, and allot of stress comes from the fact that it operates essentially 24-7, and I need to make a conscious effort to disengage and allow myself downtime.
Three recommendations I have are:
- Try not to sit or work in front of a computer for more than an hour and a half at time.
- Give yourself “flash 5 minute meditation sessions”: these consist of finding someplace quiet, sitting, breathing deeply, shutting out everything external and viewing your internal landscape. When disruptive thoughts come up, just set them aside, they’ll still be there in a 5 minutes. At the times of maximum stress, when you feel you can’t do this is when you need to do it the most.
- Give yourself some offline time in the beginning of your day and at the end. Electronic devices give off allot of energy, and this is not always what you want aimed at you immediately when you wake up, and right before retiring for the night.
Finally I will leave you with the thought that the more downtime you fit into your schedule, the more productive you will become. This may seem counter-intuitive, but give it a try. I challenge you to increase your offline, downtime, and you-time by double what it is now and see what happens.