As a kid, teenager, and college student, so much of the first 1-10 minutes of class is taken up with role call.
“Monet Diamante?” (usually butchering that)
I always showed up for class. I’ve always showed up for work. I show up for commitments I make because they are important to me. But, sometimes I over-commit, and by the end of the day or even week I look back thinking “Where did the time go?”
To this day, I’m constantly trying to find ways to be more productive and invest all of my time in things that matter. I can multi-task with the best of them. Doing more than one thing at a time should make me more productive, right? (This is wrong, but more on that another time.)
About a month ago I read an article from a guy who incorporates No Tech Sundays into his family lifestyle. That same day, I was heading into the bank and forgot my phone in the car. In my head I said “what if there is a line? Better go get it.” I got to my car and stopped dead in my tracks. A line? Like I can’t patiently wait four minutes or less without technology to help me deal with WAITING? I knew I needed to change something and jumped into a new pattern.
That Saturday night, I deleted my Social Media apps from my phone so I wouldn’t click on them out of habit, and moved my email to a different place.
[[As a side note, how crazy is it that we do this? I know I am not the only one who, the second I have nothing to do, turns to my phone.]]
I knew no tech Sunday might take a while to get used to, but had no idea it would be so rewarding. Here is what I learned:
1 — I am NOT the only person with this problem. It’s actually quite common. I must have told 30 people that day what I was doing and 100% of them said they “couldn’t do it.” True.
2 — When you stop and pay attention to life, it is way easier to meet people and establish connections with them.
3— Technology is a distraction, especially when we are put in situations that we don’t want to deal with. Instead of turning immediately to a distraction, I now just think for 10-15 minutes about how I’m going to deal with something challenging. This realization was a HUGE eye opener for me, & the best result of this experiment thus far.
4—No Tech Sunday once or twice a month makes my world go round.
I started meditating for 30 minutes a day a couple of weeks prior to that. The combination of the two has allowed me to be much more PRESENT for life every day. Instead of trying to do something more “productive”, or “multi-task” by checking five social media sites while waiting in line somewhere, I’ve learned to pay attention. To look for opportunities. To be present. And to show up for life.
For the record, I know I won’t do No Tech Sundays twice a month, forever. In fact, I’m currently updating this, on a Sunday. That said, I spent the day out with friends on a boat enjoying life, and decided to hop on and catch up on some important things before hitting the hay. The most important thing is that I spent AMPLE amount of time disconnected today, and that’s what matters.
So I leave you with this:
Did you show up for life today? I mean really show up? Not “did you go to work, pick up the kids, watch their football game, make dinner, etc”.
I mean did you look around and appreciate the beauty in the world around you? Connect with people… in real life? Meet someone new? Smile at a child? At an adult? Did you positively contribute to a conversation? Moreover, did you listen?
Most people wake up and follow the same routine day in, day out, day in, day out. They show up for work and school and commitments, but they don’t even show up for life. They barely have the energy or patience to add anything more to their already-so-full plates, let alone take time to simply be present.
While you are relentlessly pursuing that thing that motivates you, that drives you, excites you, ignites that fire within you, don’t forget that the number one most important thing you can do in your life is simply show up for it.