Two Thousand One Hundred Eighty Four Hours Per Year
I spend much of my daily waking hours facing some type of digital device. Whether it’s managing email from my many accounts, or preparing CAD documents for our next construction project, or updating our business systems in Evernote. I could be working virtually with my team at Fivecat Studio, with members at EntreArchitect Academy, or staying connected with my mom and dad. It’s a rare moment when my fingers are not tapping a keyboard and my eyes are gazed upon an electronic screen.
I have not quantified this appetite for the digital world, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that at least 6 cumulative hours each day are spent working directly with a digital device (and its likely more than that.) That adds up quick… to 42 hours per week or 2,184 hours every year.
There is no turning back. We are all living in a digitally connected world. Our work is done electronically. Much of our play is online. Our social network is built upon our daily digital interactions as well, whether with virtual “internet friends” or reinforcing long-time relationships started way before the digital revolution. We are all playing together in the virtual sandbox.
My businesses have all launched and grown through the use of the internet. Fivecat Studio was started in 1999 with no clients and no money. It was our early adoption of the web and digital tools that gave us the advantage over more established firms. The global impact of the EntreArchitect Platform, through this blog, EntreArchitect Podcast, the newsletter and through our many social media outposts, could not exist without the miracle of the internet. I am most certainly grateful for this gift, but I also feel its effects every day.
So many hours of screen time take its toll on my eyes and physical well being. As much as I benefit and enjoy technology, there also needs to be a time when I shut it all off and reconnect with the physical world. I need to give my mind and body a break from the bytes.
One of those periods will be this coming week. Eight days, from Christmas morning through New Year Day, I am shutting it down. No email. No social media. No computers. I know it will not be easy. I’ve tried this before.
This week before will be dedicated to planning and preparing for my time away. I can’t just throw down the shutters and walk away. The studio will be closed and clients will be informed that we will not be available during the holiday week. Therefore, all our projects need to be brought to a point where we can pause.
You may see EntreArchitect online or in your inbox, but that content will be prepared this week and scheduled for you to enjoy in my absence. You may not even recognize that I am away, thanks to the very technology I will be escaping.
Reconnecting With Friends and Family
What will I do without my iPhone or Apple Macs?
I will reconnect with myself.
I will recalibrate my brain and try to remember how to live without the omnipresent convenience of having the world in my pocket. I will spend more time with my wife and my kids. I will enjoy connecting in the real world with family and friends. I will get out from behind the keyboard and experience the real world, the physical spaces of the built world and be more intentional about thanking God for this amazing digitally connected world… that allows me to do what I do every other week of the year.
I challenge you to join me.
Commit to a digital disconnect for eight days; Christmas through New Years. Turn it off. Spend that time with those whom you love most and have a very happy holiday.
See you next year.
Question: Will you commit to a Digital Disconnect?
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Lightkite