Hello SOTGC community,
This post was inspired a couple weeks ago when I was at the GYM, on a Sunday, trying to de-stress for a few hours and unplug from everything. I went to turn my cell phone (which I use for music) onto airplane mode so I could disconnect from anyone trying to get ahold of me, and just zone out. Then I remembered that my friend was installing my new template for SOTGC, migrating it to his site as a trial before we changed platforms completely…so I needed to have my phone on in case he called or emailed with questions.
While I was excited about the prospect of my new glossy template and the fact that I could work with a friend from the industry (surgical device sales) who happens to be a computer science guru instead of some random company…the idea that I was robbed of my decompression time was a bit of a bummer. This got me thinking…remember when we used to have those phones with cords that were attached to the wall? If someone wanted to call us (before beepers and cell phones) they had to call and hope someone was at home to pick up that call and take a message. This was before email as well, so a phone call or mailed letter was the only way to get ahold of someone unless they were sitting next to you. This was also a time when you memorized everyone’s phone number that was important to you…nowadays the only number I know is my own…and 911…even that is suspect sometimes.
Despite the fact that to get a call from someone you had to physically be next to the phone, I don’t remember being as “tied to the phone” as I am now. I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between how high my stress level is and how close to me my cell phone is. It’s a running joke amongst my co-workers and Doctors that if they start a text or email dialogue with me, there is a good chance that I will text/email them back before they can even send their response (IE I am very quick on the response time). It doesn’t matter if it’s 5 AM on a weekday or 10 PM on a Sunday night. If an email or text comes in and it’s about work…I’m going to respond to it. This is great for a customer service standpoint and also for the chances of me getting early ulcers.
In this era of iPhones/Droids/BlackBerrys/iPads we have access to what everyone is doing at all times, in realtime. Don’t get me wrong, during the work week if you have a demanding career it’s important to have these up and running during waking hours. There is no “9 to 5” in a high level, high stress job. However, on the weekends I have come to learn that being able to unwrap the invisible “cell phone cord” that cuddles me like a noose, that breaking the chokehold that realtime texting/emailing/Facebooking allows for is crucial to me being on-point and on top of my game during the work week when it’s vital to be a “rapid responder.”
So how about you? How often do you cut the cord and ditch your phone for a few hours during the weekend? Have you ever tried turning your phone off, putting it in another room and out of sight, and seeing how relaxed you can get with a few hours of being digital free…?