A couple of years ago, a graduate student from the University of Arkansas conducted an experiment illustrating how technology has made us accessible to the world, 24/7. She lived in a greenhouse on the lawn in front of one of the administration buildings for several days. Students could see every thing she was doing when they changed classes or simply milled about the campus.
She made her point, and in an eye-opening way, at that. Of course, with the advent of anti-virus software and blocking features on various social media websites we do have some semblance of control over who we allow “in,” but still, we are basically “on” all of the time.
But we don’t have to be, and we probably shouldn’t be; a “device break” during the day could be just what the doctor ordered. Did you know that efficiency experts have discovered that every time we’re interrupted we lose 20 minutes of productivity? Every time we get a text, or we hear the “ping” that lets us know we have “new mail,” we derail our progress.
Sometimes silence is just what we need to recharge our batteries, but if we’re not used to going off the grid, it can take some getting used to, but the effort is well worth it. Dr. Elisha Goldstein, a psychotherapist and expert on mindfulness says everyone he knows who has a sense of peace takes time out of their day for silence.
If you have trouble figuring out what to do with your techno break, here are a few suggestions:
- brew a cup of tea and revel in the silence
- Take a stroll around the neighborhood
- Crochet, knit or embroider something
- write in your journal
- make a list of all of the things you’re grateful for (put “silence” at the top of the list)
- Listen to some music
- Pray or meditate
- Read an inspirational book
If you’re not used to solitude, don’t be surprised if you feel “antsy” for the first few minutes. Experts tell us that when we take a week off from work, it takes 2-3 days to be able to wind down completely. If we apply the same ratio to thirty minutes of quiet time, we can expect the first ten to be a “warm-up,”