Man, I must be so important.
Man, you must be so important!
I mean, we both must be so important, right? With our phones at our ears 24/7?!
We even put our cell phones right on the table during meals, at the ready like wild west gunslingers at high noon, or Pavlovian dogs salivating for the next call, text, or email.
What’s so important that we need to be connected to our phones even during time with family?
Are we expecting the White House to call us for guidance in handling the Ukraine/Russia conflict?
Is Elon Musk going to check in with us before he joins the Twitter board?
Do we need to see the Dodgers score the moment the 9th inning concludes? (Ok, so maybe that one is important, but you get my drift!)
We’re all so conditioned to believe that we need to be connected to news and communication all the time; that we need to be available to everyone all the time.
But I have a revelation for you…we don’t.
Quite the opposite, our time, focus, and energy are the most valuable commodities we have, so we should stop letting our phones drain those facets of our lifeforce for no reason.
The shortlist of who we do need to be available for includes:
So, when was the last time you went to lunch or dinner and did NOT have your phone out on the table? Or even turned it off?
Here’s the goal for all of you smartphone gunslingers (like I used to be):
NO MORE PHONES ON THE TABLES. Turn it off – and not even on vibrate – during family time, meals, and when you’re with a friend or client.
Instead, be present.
Reaching that goal may seem to be a lot more difficult than it looks – for me as well.
I was getting ready to read to my daughter the other night. While she was brushing her teeth, I was lying there reading emails until she came into her room. Inevitably, once she came back, one of the emails I’d read took away my focus. For the next 15-20 minutes, I was NOT present with my daughter but distracted. She couldn’t even get the best or all of her father one time at night before bed
For what!!?? There wasn’t a life-or-death matter contained in the email, or even an emergency. Logically, I knew I’d get to it in due time and resolve the matter no problem.
She is eight years old. I have ten years before she goes to college, and I am well aware that time will go by WAY too fast. So, every single evening, every hour, every bedtime story is invaluable with her.
Just imagine the opportunity cost in our lives, all of the relationships, deeper understandings, and even joy we’re sapping by constantly being on our phones.
I’m trying to get better – I AM getting better; no longer a smartphone gunslinger. At first, it was excruciating to put the phone away, turn it off, and not keep checking it like a nervous tick.
But now, during business lunches, time with my wife, quality time with friends, and definitely family time like bedtime with my daughter, I fiercely protect the precious moments from the vampire-like phone.
It’s taking a lot of steadfast dedication and practice to reverse the vicious habit, but I WILL get there.
After all, I KNOW that I’m not all that important – but my daughter definitely is.