At the end of my day, I’m wired. When the miniature humans go to bed, I’m at full speed. I’ve typically got 3 or 4 devices all running at the same time with browsers, video, audio, documents and chats all going crazy. After 4 or 5 hours, I’ll be “done” my work for the day and I’ll get to turn everything off. There’s only one problem. I never turn everything off. Half the time I fall asleep with an iPad in my face watching some TV show that I don’t really care about or I drift off with an iPhone in my ear listening to whatever podcast or stand up comedian that I’m into right now. But lately I’ve decided to try something new. Turn it off.
When I go to bed, my iPad and laptop are elsewhere and my iPhone is set to airplane and is just used as an alarm clock. I read for 10-15 minutes every night before I go to sleep. And here’s what I’ve noticed thus far. I sleep a hell of a lot better than I ever did before. I’m calmer. I’m not as edgy. I don’t, as I previously assured my wife, “have trouble getting to sleep without watching something”. I am at my absolute best.
Don’t get me wrong. I love every single thing about technology. I love my laptop. I love my iPad. I love Netflix. I love podcasts. But I now believe, fully, that the best way to get the most out of my day is to turn it all off. I’ve spoken before about the need to make the most of your time. When you’re working, work and when you’re not, don’t. What I had failed to realize what that this should be carried over to all things. When you’re sleeping, sleep. When you’re reading, read. Now while I do mix a bit of business and pleasure by watching things while I do most of my writing, I’ve decided that I need to be more present in each and every thing that I do.
One of my favorite books is The Way of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. I often describe it as “the way I’d live my life if I weren’t so damned lazy”. One of my favorite parts of the book is when he talks about eating. He talks about putting down your utensils between each bite, focusing on each one as an individual meal. By doing so, you can pursue perfection in every facet of your life. Turning everything off when you’re not really using it is about being present in the moment.
So whether you want to become a better runner, a better businessman, a better father or just a better person, focus. Make the most out of right now and as soon as you’re done reading this, think about turning everything off.