There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.~Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you are like me, you spent a good deal of your day with your computer on, Gmail (or whatever email service you use) running in the background, several browser screens going throughout the day, as well as a few other programs thrown in for good measure. To top it off your phone is placed right next to your laptop.
Yet, even with all this “work” open, I can waste a day with the best of them. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I will also have music playing and/or the TV on as well.
I am thoroughly immersed in noise and distraction. And most of this noise is negative and overblown. Don’t believe me, watch your local news and tell me what you see.
With 2017 right around the corner, what if you went on an information fast? Try unplugging from most of the “noise” sources and spend more time with family, friends, or outside.
What I am proposing is an information diet.
This starts with employing some selective ignorance.
When you take more charge of your personal life and your family life, you don’t need to know as much about what others are doing. You can become more concerned about what you are doing. This produces action.
Many times my wife and I have had the discussion about not enjoying a particular season or phase of life. What breaks us free from this gloominess is action. Creating an intentional life and relationship requires massive action.
If you are interested in producing more action as you design your relationship and unplug from the cyber-connected information world, here are a few suggestions:
- Take an inventory of the information and noise sources you consume each day. Rate them each as necessary, irrelevant to your goals, negative, or beyond your concern. Be honest. I will bet that much of the information you consume is in the latter three categories.
- The next step is to unplug from all but the necessary. Focus on consuming only the information important for you and your family’s goals each day.
- Then pull the plug on these sources everyday at a set time, say 7 PM, in order to spend time with your spouse and family. This includes business and personal emails, phone calls, time wasting TV shows, etc. Let voicemail do its job. Save your correspondence until the next day, then take a focused hour and get it all done.
With the time you will free up by unplugging, do something together. Go to bed early, talk, play legos with your kids. Trust me, the information you may miss when you unplug isn’t that important anyway. If there is something that is truly an emergency, you’ll hear about it. But the time you spend with your family and marriage is worth it. It will produce more action, which will generate more energy, which will allow more freedom to design the relationship and family you desire.
When it comes to information, less truly is more. In 2017, my challenge to you is to focus on what matters.