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Value Creation Blog

Put Your Phone Away - Now

Posted by Josh Patrick

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That might be something my wife would say to me. Sometimes I think we’re just too connected to our electronic toys and it gets in the way of our relationships.

Here are some things I’ve been thinking about and I hope you find some value in them.

 

 

Your spouse hates it when you look at your phone at dinner.

At least my wife does. I’ve learned that if I’m going to look at my phone at dinner, the rest of the meal will just become unpleasant.

The fact is my wife is right. I really don’t need to constantly look at my phone. In fact, I can’t remember a time where if I didn’t look at my phone for a few hours I would have a real, major problem.

What about you, do you look at your phone all of the time? If so, do yourself and your spouse a favor and stop it!

Isn’t it time you unplugged a little.

The always connected world is not a good thing. I’ve yet to read a study where the conclusion says that being always on is good or even neutral in your well being.

Even if you love what you do, you need to disconnect. You need to take time to really be with other people. You do know that there is no way for you to really be present with those you love when you’re looking at your phone……don’t you?

You might find your business fascinating, but does your spouse?

I know that there are times when I’m working on a new project and I become totally obsessed with it. I’ve often told myself that it’s just for a few days and then I’ll back off after the project is done.

The problem with this is that there’s always another project following the one you’re working on. Too many times I’ve talked with business owners who have lost a marriage because they couldn’t find time for their spouse.

The fact is, many times your spouse doesn’t like your business…..and they might not even want to tolerate it. You have to be aware and find other things you and your spouse can do together.

The world won’t end if emails aren’t answered for a few hours.

This has been a tough one for me. I’ve often felt that one of the reasons people like working with me is because I’m very responsive and answer emails quickly.

I’ve learned that if I’m off line for a few hours, the world won’t end. I’ve even gotten to the point where I’ll be off line for a few days and the world seems to keep spinning around.

We all need to have a life that doesn’t include being at the beck and call of others 24 hours a day…..or even the sixteen hours that you’re awake.

Set limits with those who like to contact you after business hours.

I wish my sister in law had learned this lesson. She was working for a national company and every time we visited her she spent an awful lot of time working on company business while she was supposedly on vacation. I always thought that behavior was abusive by her employers.

Then I looked at my own behavior and found that there were many times I let others set my agenda, even when it was time for me to spend time with friends and family. When this behavior got out of hand, I found that I was just left out of the fun I could have been having.

I don’t know about you, but being left out wasn’t my idea of a great life. You just need to set limits for how you interact with others outside of your normal work day. Your brain and your body need the break.

Now I just need to take my own advice.

I’ve just re-read all of what I’ve written. This post could be written directly at me. I have to admit it’s a struggle for me to unplug and be present with my wife, friends and family.

Today’s world is just too easy to keep working all of the time. When you do this, you could just end up like me in the hospital with poison being pumped into your body trying to get rid of rampaging cancer.

Don’t be like me, find time to meditate. Find time to have real conversations with friends and most importantly turn off your phone at dinner.

I have a favor to ask. I’m putting together a group of online courses about strategic issues business owners face. If you could click on the button below and take five minutes (and I really mean five minutes) to fill out our survey I would really appreciate it.

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Topics: time management,, spouse, work balance, lifw balance

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