Recently I had been going through a really stressful time at work. Never really feeling like I was accomplishing anything, I pushed myself way beyond my limits and began to overwork myself both on the job and in my head. I have a newer role and I am still trying to find that happy balance between meeting client’s expectations and managing my own. My tipping point came when I started checking work emails at home. I crossed that work/home barrier that for as long as I can remember I have been so successful at not crossing.
My biggest mistake was bringing my work home.
As I checked my email, I saw that more work was waiting for me in the morning. The work that I had done that day seemed so insignificant and I felt very demeaned. By crossing my work/home barrier, I didn’t allow my accomplishments of the day soak in. My mood grew increasingly gloomy so in an attempt at digging myself out of the hole I was falling into, I had a chat with my wife. Somewhere in our conversation, it had one of those uplifting moments, the kind of idea that I knew was just right.
I need to disconnect and fall off the grid.
So I turned off my cell phone and set it as far away from me as possible.
In an instant, I could feel my happiness rise and as I was turning off my phone, the surge of dopamine crawled through my body and in that moment, I had control over my situation. My work will still be waiting for me until the morning regardless if my phone is on or not.
The thing about technology is that it never forgets. When you turn off your phone, your notifications will be there like a loyal dog anxiously greeting you at the door the moment you turn it back on.
Your life is not so loyal.
The moments you are glued to your technology are not going to be waiting for you when you return. Those moments, your happiness and your present mind are gone forever and are wasted unproductively trying to find validation. While you are busy distracting yourself, your problems and worries only mount as you try your best to keep up. Take back control by disconnecting once in awhile, especially on those days when you have had too much and are overwhelmed. Leave your work for tomorrow, it will always be there waiting for you. Give your brain the present and just watch how it responds!