Some of you may remember the buzz that once surrounded the notion of the Four – Day Work Week. That was what technology was supposed to deliver as a tantalizing possibility about a decade or so ago. So, as I sit at my computer at 7:44pm typing this blog post, a part of me wonders… So, what’s up with that? Who ate my time? What happened to the pleasant and now seemingly fantastical notion of a four day work week!
LET’S BE REAL…
Now, before you raise your hand and say, ‘But Lola, that’s my reality. I am ONLY in the office three or four days a week. Here’s the system I use to make it happen!’ Let’s be real. Very few REALTORS® spend oodles of time staring at the big screen of a PC anymore. In fact, our screens travel with us. Everywhere! And by that I mean everywhere we eat, sleep, bathe, and breathe.
I can succinctly remember the days when my broker required that we respond to a pager message on a lead within seven minutes. In those days, a cell phone in your purse added a couple of pounds. A mere twenty years ago, my laptop computer required my client surrender their home telephone line to allow me to hopefully connect with the MLS system. And faxes rolled out hot on thermal paper.
Back then, I couldn’t imagine having to check my e-mail(s) account(s), my cell phone, my office line, my Facebook page, blog(s), and Linkedin account to retrieve message and to communicate with clients and peers. Yes, all of the above have been sources of leads and business.
SO, WHAT ATE UP TIME?
So, when my very tired self sat down for a seminar about being ‘Dangerously Tired’ recently, I was contemplating checking my cell phone just one more time before the Speaker opened her presentation. Her opening line was,
‘I hope that you will be able to give yourself 4 hours without checking your cellphone. If you can’t, I will understand. But, I will see you and have compassion for you. This vantage point up here allows me to see everything!’
Wow! As I shrank back in my seat just a little, I experienced a moment of personal relief that my fingers hadn’t reached the phone just yet. She couldn’t have seen me. She wasn’t God after all! But, then another thought impinged upon my consciousness. When was the last time that I had given myself an uninterrupted 4 hour period (apart from sleeping)? Sadly, it had been awhile.
THE THING ABOUT TECHNOLOGY…
Technology tends to soak us up in its every increasingly higher tide. We find ourselves floating along with every new shiny gadget, rarely stopping to reconsider some simple questions:
- Do I need this?
- What will it cost me in terms of time, not just money
- What may suffer in my life
- Is this really important? Do I need to respond to every tweet, e-mail, and text right now?
UNPLUG TO RECHARGE!
So, when was the last time you considered the possibility of unplugging to recharge. For some of us, that’s a radical thought, but I think it’s one worth considering. Consider starting with baby steps. Maybe, four hours is too long if you’ve become accustomed to sleeping with your devise. But, I know for certain that I can benefit by paying more attention to this area of my life.
Perhaps, you can start with an hour. An hour when you shut down the phone and enjoy an uninterrupted conversation. An hour when you attend the NAR convention and listen, actually concentrate on what a speaker is saying without the constant distraction of a little blinking, buzzing screen. An hour when you actually eat your food and chit chat with people at the table without wondering who’s calling you now.
The great thing about being a REALTOR® is that we’re not doctors. No one will die if we do not respond every time an electronic device demands attention, but perhaps we will learn to live life more fully, be present more often, and find that renewed focus enables us to accomplish more than the incessant demands from our little electronic tethers.