It’s Saturday in Alabama. When I was a teacher long ago, that meant that there was a pretty good chance school was not in session. Most schools are Monday through Friday, though I taught at a few that Saturday was part of the plan of instruction. My work as a strategist now involves show production, platform builds and work with media that requires, at times, twenty-four hour availability. The change of vehicles to the internet has added many opportunities, but the cost is also high.
- 24/7 input of information to our households
- endless opportunity to disconnect from relationships in real life
- encouragement of game and other addictions to online yuck
The last few days I’ve returned from a long road trip to see clients, work on some film projects in person, and work in person with team members. We’re often a virtual company, Skype, Go to Meeting and Google Hangouts affords me the luxury of working with folks all over the world from my screen where ever I am. The ability to work with someone “live” thousands of miles away is exciting, but the opportunity is also daunting. If not careful, one can completely lose all sense of routines, of rest, of time to contemplate.
Where do you draw your boundaries?
Creativity requires time away for me. To be at the top of my talent, my calendar and my daily schedule must include time away from 24/7 engagement. In a previous time, society in general had a Monday through Friday 8-5 workweek. The production workers or service providers may have had 24/7 shifts, but in general it was generally accepted that a weekly day off and a Sunday worship time was in the cards every 7 days.
When do you take off from expectations of working? When do you plan to have solitude? For me it’s more of an early morning practice these days. A live show each week means that I will at least check in on the weekend’s now with work and guests. I am becoming more fiercely protective of “down” or “off” time. My health and my abilities begin to drift when I do not hold the line.
How do you hold the line? Do you have set hours you will not engage outside activities? Do you have practices you have in place for your exercise, your health, your solitude or your need for quiet?
I find myself more and more simply turning things off. The phone. The computer. The cable. Silence has such a restful feel to it. The window outside is in front of my writing desk, it calls to me more, to come outside and enjoy nature’s presence. Even five minutes can change my perspective and reinvigorate the day. We allow life to overtake living. Demands for our time whether in advertising, opportunities, or relationships can drain us of our well being. What do you do to protect your head? How are you protecting your heart?
My family is fortunate. We have accepted that we are better as a family when electronics go off each day during family time. Meals are shared at the table and we focus on knowing one another past instagram or social media updates. I love that my older children who live far away can communicate via Skype and such, but there is a sweetness in the letter that is written…in the moment shared.
This weekend we’re at home, all of us, and it is a coolish fall morning. I walked around outside and crunched the leaves under my feet and remembered once again that when I take time to pause, to rest, to restore….
I also return to life again.