No time to think

by Jeff Wiener on December 26, 2011

The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to turn off your cell phone and disconnect from the world for a few days. I am reposting an appropriate post written by Heather Baker that speaks to exactly that. You can find the original here.

We are constantly being stimulated by technology –from the wee hours in the morning when we wake to our alarm clock radios, to the time we rest our phones on our bedside tables at night. Oh, it is not just a phone however, it is now our camera, video recorder, access to the internet and e-mails, personal games device, and then there are the thousands of apps that keep us up to date with the weather, stocks, our hundreds of friends on Facebook and dozens of corporate connections on Linked in. And then there are the apps that keep us organized with calendars, reminders, tasks, maps, lists and so on… There is television, itunes or pod casts for our workout at the gym or jogging in the neighbourhood. Then, we have the commute to work of course. No need to fret. We can enjoy a book on our Kindles or perhaps the New York Times or the British News through our news apps on our phones or iPads. Maybe we catch the latest episode of the TV series that was downloaded to keep us entertained on the GO train, or any other moment we find that we have some time to kill.

If we drive, not to worry, we can plug our hand-held devices directly into our vehicles so that we can enjoy pod casts and our own selection of music from our iPods, through the stereo system. Oh and I haven’t even mentioned when we get to work. Just in case our morning was a little boring, we have our computers of course, for e-mails, a variety of programs that allow us to create documents, presentation, web-sites, movies, and reports. We can attend webinars or participate in teleconferences from another vital piece of technology, our phone systems. You may get some recreation and down time during your lunch break, but how often is it that you are interrupted by pings and beeps and rings that notify you that someone needs to speak with you or get your opinion RIGHT AWAY! Maybe you have a sandwich at your desk and surf the web for the lastest suggestions for Christmas gifts this year and then buy them on-line. Whew!!!

I could continue to describe how the rest of most people’s days go, but I think you get the idea. The run-on sentences are by design by the way. I didn’t have time to pause, because the ideas were so plentiful. And I don’t even know what half of the things are that I mentioned. Seriously!! No time to pause and think about what might come next. My brain is exhausted, just thinking of it all.

Does your brain even know how to pause and think and explore the wonders of stillness and peace? Of imagination and creativity? I used to have two hours to myself every day driving to and from work. I didn’t think that I would miss it at all. I certainly didn’t miss the drive, but boy did I miss the two hours to myself. Nothing else to do. No one to talk to. No place to be. No expectations. I was alone with my thoughts. BIG Sigh! I visioned and planned. I strategized and conceived of ideas. I sometimes even wrote poetry! (the DVP is also know as the Don Valley Parking Lot)

I encourage you to see if you can turn everything off for ½ an hour every day….ok at least once a week. The brain stimulation with all of our tech devices is wonderful…I mean look how stimulated we are. But try exercising the part of the brain that would flourish if given the chance to daydream and imagine. Take a little time for yourself to simply think!

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