The Secret to Attaining Work-Life Balance: Disconnect

This was actually a comment I left on Michael Hyatt’s blog, but I thought it would be good to share it with my readers here. Just food for thought, but how would your life change if you weren’t connected 24/7 via your iPhone?

I often see people ask the question “How can I attain a work/life balance?” It’s like they are looking for some easy fix, some magic answer about how to stay sane. All the while they’re buried in their iPhones and iPads. I’ve learned that if you want work/life balance, you just have to MAKE IT. As Nike says, “Just do it.” You have to make a conscience choice to disconnect from the social media, e-mail, and technological worlds and re-connect with family, friends, etc. There is no magic formula.

A few months ago we canceled our iPhone plans and got “regular” cell phones. Primarily to save money on the expensive call plan. But something interesting happened along the way. It used to be that whenever I wasn’t doing something specific, I’d be on my iPhone checking Twitter, reading email, etc. Standing in line a grocery store? Read Twitter. “Watching” my son play at the park while I sit with the other parents? Read E-mail. Waiting for oatmeal to cook 2 MINUTES in microwave. Check Facebook. It was a sickness.

Now that I have a cell phone with no data plan <gasp!>, I’m more connected to people actually around me in person, rather than the thousands of “friends” I have on Facebook. Life slowed down just a bit.

When and if I ever get another iPhone, in this sabbatical I’ve learned to disconnect from the social media world and re-connect with family and “real” friends. It would be worth it for more of you took an “iPhone” hiatus for a while.

Shane Hipps has a great chapter in his book “Flickering Pixels” about our Nomadic Life wherein  has great points about this topic of connectedness—like the the story of the best friend who waited two weeks to see photos of her best friend’s baby only to find that the new mom put the photos on Facebook and just assumed the other friend would check her feed. It may be worth the read.

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