Many of us lead very busy lives. We work one maybe two jobs to pay for childcare, groceries, gas, clothes, and the rest of life’s necessities. Parents seem to be in constant go mode. The invention of the smart phone helped take multitasking to new and incredible heights. We can answer email, check flights, be on conference calls, and keep up with family and friends on social media, but there is a downside. According to a publication by the Harvard Business Review an employee with a smart phone works an average of 72 hours per week. Not 40 (the average contract for most salary employees) or 50 but 72 hours per week. So how can any hard-working employee balance family and keep the household in order?
The extra hours come from somewhere. Where? A notification goes off on your phone. You pick it up, and that’s the beginning. You read an email, check a text message, or answer a phone call, and it’s off to the races. A sense of urgency overcomes you as you have to complete, fix, or address what you are reading and hearing. “No! It cannot wait until tomorrow!” This is what you say. What did we do before answering machines, cellular phones, email, and text messaging? Jobs had to wait until tomorrow, and that is not a bad thing. Unfortunately, you find yourself working while your family eats at the table. You begin sending emails while your little children play on the floor by themselves and your teenage children go to a friend’s house. That becomes the routine. Then finally you look up and wonder why your teenagers are always gone. You try to have a family day, but no one wants to be involved because while you were answering emails they found relationship elsewhere. So what can you do to prevent this from happening?
There is an awesome feature on most phones called Airplane Mode. The cool thing is you don’t have to be on a plane or at an airport to use it. It’s available anytime and everywhere. By turning on this feature you turn off data, cellular service, and wifi, unless you enable wifi along with airplane mode. I would suggest leaving it off. Doing this temporarily takes you off the grid. Now you can be with your family, drive safely, or get that home project done without interruption. Schedule your airplane mode time. Maybe enable it for a few hours every evening. Your voice mail will pick up any phone calls, and as soon as airplane mode is disabled your text messages and emails will flood your inbox. Seize your day. Take back your time. Do not be a slave to your phone, but make your phone work for you and your family. It’s your choice.
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