PAUSE – 19.04 – Turn Down The Screen – Turn Up Your Life
April 3, 2019
Reflection: Not long ago I found myself in my doctor’s reception area, waiting for my appointment. Also waiting were three young moms each with infants in car carriers parked at their feet.
All the little ones were awake and alert. All the moms were elsewhere – eyes glued to the screens of their smart phones making no effort to connect with their babies.
Now maybe they were dealing with important issues at a distance. Or maybe they were exhausted and just enjoying the quiet. (I do remember that parenting a little one can really take it out of you!)
But here’s the challenge. (more…)
PAUSE – 15.34 – Ditch the Digital Dipsy-Doodling
November 11, 2015
Reflection: When I deliver sessions on overload and overwhelm at work and in life, these are questions that often arise. Maybe you’ve asked them yourself!
- Why can’t I focus in the midst of distractions?
- Why do I keep interrupting myself, even when I’m on a roll?
- Why do I feel exhausted at the end of my day?
The answers vary. But there is one modern habit that definitely contributes to these experiences – our 3D habit of Digital-Dipsy-Doodling. (I love that phrase – and wish I could take credit for it, but I can’t. See resources of the week for the origin and two articles that say more about this experience.)
You may well be familiar with 3D behavior, yourself. It’s the practice of jumping around between email, twitter, facebook, instagram, and the many other diversions of the web at large.
Why do we do it? It could be FOMO – fear of missing out. Or, it could be (as neuroscience suggests) that fresh doses of info send zingers of dopamine to the brain. Dopamine feels good. And, so, we Dipsy-Doodle – again and again – moving ever further away from what we had initially set out to accomplish.
While we are busy jumping around like grasshoppers on Red Bull, we may not even be aware that all this switching takes energy. The more we leapfrog, the less we accomplish, and the more exhausted we feel.
Doped up and depleted was probably not how any of us envisioned our days unfolding. Welcome to the downward spiral of digital distraction!
Action: So what’s a busy body to do? (more…)
Pause Reader Reactions To ‘Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?’
April 1, 2014
Some messages seem to touch more of a nerve than others. Many ezine and blog readers responded to the recent Pause message about disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with humanity.
In case you missed it or might like to refresh yourself on the content, here is the link to the original message: Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?
Here’s what Pause readers had to say about their own experiences with this issue:
LL writes: I started to leave my phone upstairs when I go to bed at night. I used to use it as an alarm clock but not anymore. I just felt like this was starting to be a heavy bedroom partner and got rid of it! My husband is now my alarm clock!
LC writes: I know what you mean! It’s not just the young people anymore either. Yikes – I think we are caught up in the hype and the allure of technology. The most likely response is that the makers of the devices will ensure they can be smaller so people can’t see when you’re on them. It’s going to be a long time before this pendulum swings back the other way I fear.
PAUSE – 14.12 – Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?
March 26, 2014
Stack of smart phones
Reflection: I’m worried about us. Not in a global warming, political upheaval, where is the world headed kind of way. But rather in a very specific ‘why don’t we choose to be more present’ sort of way.
While facilitating recent seminars, I’ve noted – and not for the first time – that as soon as there is a pause in the program the majority of people seem compelled to plug their phones into the gap.
Like the fictional Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dike, today’s smartphones serve as the first line of defense against potential threats like these: a moment of down time, the possibility of original thought, and the risk of actually connecting with a live person positioned within arm’s reach.
While answering email, returning texts, scanning Facebook, and checking news feeds may give the illusion of connectedness, I propose that the opposite may also be true.
Instead of enhancing connection, this habitual behavior insulates us from the moment at hand, distances us from creative thought, and diminishes the likelihood of meaningful live conversation.
Our ‘reach for the phone’ knee-jerk habits actually keep us reacting and retorting and stop us from reflecting and relating.
Action: Here’s a challenge for today – and for tomorrow, too. (more…)
PAUSE – 11.28 – Take The 33:30 Challenge
June 7, 2011
REFLECTION: I love it when seminar and conference participants share their stories and struggles with balance. It helps ease the pressure for us to hear of each other’s challenges and to know we’re not alone in our wacky responses to life’s stresses.
At a recent conference, I shared a few examples of the crazymaking things people do in their attempts to speed their way through the overloaded demands of the day. (If you’d like a refresher on this, check out my ‘Crazymaking World’ video clip on the Pauseworks website. )
During the morning break it was attendee Carol’s turn to make me laugh. She told me that when she wants to give something a half a minute in the microwave she punches in 33 seconds. She swears it’s faster to punch the same digit twice than to waste time looking for the 3 and the 0! I’m pretty sure 33 would be slightly faster. But the real question of importance is: “Does it make life slightly better?”
Carol also responded to a vignette I’d relayed of a busy parent screaming through the front door at day’s end – kicking backpacks and jackets out of the way and shouting out homework and supper instructions to the kids. Apparently this had been her style of re-entry, too, until the day her teenager asked, “Mom, do you walk through the door yelling even when there’s no one home?”
It was one of those ‘hold the mirror’, ‘dagger to the heart’ moments that caused Carol to stop and take a closer look at herself through the eyes of those who matter most. (more…)
PAUSE – 11.17 – Aversion To Stillness
February 22, 2011
REFLECTION: An aversion to stillness is a growing phenomenon in our plugged in world.
Case in point. I recently facilitated a day in a leadership development program. The session focused on Modeling The Way & Encouraging the Heart – two essential leadership practices. During the day we were in and out of group work and discussion.
People were pretty conscientious about turning off their cell phone ringers and setting the gadgets to vibrate. So the ‘audible call-out’ distractions were minimized. However, that didn’t stop people from repeatedly reaching for their phones in much the same way as infants reach for their pacifiers – to plug into something that fills the void.
As soon as group discussion wound down, or a break was announced, people grabbed their phones to check on the world outside. This essentially cut out those to their left and right who might want to engage in further interaction. After all, who wants to get between someone and their phone. However, it also robbed the individual of the opportunity to be still with their own thoughts – in the absence of input from the outside world. Who knows what kind of insights might have arisen given half a chance to see the light of day? (more…)
June 16, 2010
Each time I write an e-zine message or post to the Pause blog about the place of technology in our lives, it generates a mega response. It’s apparent that people hold strong feelings on both sides of the fence and right down the middle, for that matter.
Today’s blog post by Peter Bregman at Harvard Business Review, Why I Returned My iPad, is also generating a lively set of reactions – both for and against. Bregman describes the seductive appeal of this new techno toy in his life, the impact his use had on balance in his life, and his challenges with turning it off or setting it aside.
What is just as interesting as his experience are the reactions – pro and con – of those who comment on his decision. This is exactly the kind of debate that we need to find the right balance of time in – time out when it comes to the place of technology in our highly connected lives.