Have you noticed how push notifications actually SHOVE their way loudly into your day? How instant messaging requires INSTANT REPLIES? Otherwise, you end up having to scroll through a whole list of posts in the group chat to find out what the hell is going on! If you recognise these tell-tale signs you need to slow down. Breathe. Disconnect. Gain some perspective.
When Push Turns To Shove
Likes, shares and retweets are the new currency of approval and measures of success. We’re infinitely more connected, globally. Everything and everyone is pushing its way onto our phones and into our lives. Notifying us that we are indeed connected. And reminding us that we need to remain connected.
Yet, we’ve become totally disconnected. From real life.
We’re so busy chasing after faster broadband or super-fast fibre optic connections. Moaning that 3G is too slow. Groaning because 4G just about manages to buffer a feature-length film in full HD.
When are we getting 5G?
Everything is speeding up.
We need to slow it down. Stop. Disconnect. Unplug.
And let our natural creativity flow.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~ Ferris Bueller
Here’s an interesting anecdote from someone I know who had to go to Speed School:
“If you drive above the speed limit you might arrive a few minutes earlier at your destination. But you greatly increase your chances of not getting there at all.”
This isn’t exactly revelatory.
Better late than never?
Life’s a marathon, not a sprint?
Slow and steady wins the race?
We’ve all heard these idioms, or variants of them, more often than we’d care to mention. Usually delivered with the gravitas of a sage by a parent. Or grandparent!
Beautifully cliché. Eye-roll inducing. Yet with their basis in a very simple truth.
As old and wrinkly as they may sound (not your parents/grandparents), there’s wisdom behind these idioms.
What’s the big rush?
Stop And Look Around
You only get to appreciate the pace, and fleetingness, of life once you’ve experienced enough of it to look back and wonder where it all went.
So, yes. What’s the big rush?
It’s amazing what you miss when you’re not looking. Ever bumped into someone or something whilst staring at your phone as you walk through town?
Look around you.
Children (especially children who cannot yet read) are highly observant. They don’t miss a thing.
They’re not distracted by the words and symbols that bombard us daily. These things hold no meaning for them. So they take in their surroundings. Completely.
Young children will notice the smallest detail.
Something that may have been there all along. Staring you in the face. But, as a busy adult, you fail to see. Overlook it because there are so many other things drawing your attention. Too much on your mind. Far too many distractions.
All too often, you can find yourself looking at the wrong thing.
And these things are getting in the way.
Reducing your productivity. Curtailing your creativity.
This Is Your Life
Rob Dial offers an interesting assessment of our Life Timeline.
With the best years of our life spent as a working adult, it’s probably wise to seek enjoyment in what we do. But more importantly, is to take time to actually live.
Nobody on their deathbed has ever said “I wish I had spent more time at the office.” ~ Senator Paul Tsongas
Shove those push notifications away!
They can wait.
Disconnect To Reconnect
We may all be infinitely more connected. So civilised and modern. Extremely knowledgeable and advanced. Yet detached from reality and our surroundings.
Everyone is always busy.
It’s as if we need to fill our lives with things to keep us occupied.
But actually, it’s ok to do nothing.
It’s ok to be bored.
And it’s perfectly fine to allow yourself to look out the window and daydream.
Disconnect. Then reconnect. With reality.
You can’t make time.
Don’t try to find time.
Take your time instead.
Slow it all down. Take a good look around. Don’t just hear, actually listen.
Observe the world and all its subtleties.
Your capacity for creative thinking will increase.
As will your productivity.