Disconnect to Connect

On occasion, I’ve had times when my family and I were all using a smartphone in the same room. Being the joking husband and dad that I am, I would annoy them by initiating a conversation with a group text message. I know that you’re thinking this is a plea to take a vacation from your devices. Well, not exactly.

We have all heard of the person who will turn off all electronic communication devices for a day or more, sometimes on a regular basis. You may even be one of those people. But I am not. What I am suggesting is “selectively disconnecting” ourselves in order to make all of our connections more meaningful. Let me explain how this balanced approach benefits our health, happiness, and professional life.

For most of us, time is one of our biggest commodities. Every minute that we spend checking our email or looking at our phones is a minute that we could be doing something else. Those minutes can really add up. But most importantly, these little interruptions take our focus away from the task at hand.

We always look for a better way to do things, and we often look towards technology for that answer. We not only want to accomplish more each day, but we also want to stand out among the competition. What if we occasionally picked up the phone or even jotted a short note instead of an email? Now that’s connecting.

So here are my suggestions on how to “selectively disconnect” to improve your health, happiness, and professional life:

  • Never text and drive.
  • Eliminate cell phone use during meals with others.
  • Set specific times for checking emails.
  • Connect with a phone call, hand-written note, or face-to-face conversation.

Embracing some of the more traditional ways of connecting can set you apart from the rest and renew your satisfaction with both personal and professional relationships. It may even lower your blood pressure.