Low tech ideas to make time for again.

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I recently read an excerpt from a book by Brianna Wiest, The Truth About Everything and I liked some of the ideas so much I wanted to share and/or expand on some of them.

  • Write things by hand.  Letters and notes to friends, goals for the week, thank you cards and memos to co-workers. Digital communications are easy and convenient, but there is a huge difference between texting someone to say you love them, appreciate them or hope they have a great day and leaving a hand-written note.  I still sneak notes into my 17 year old’s lunch, backpack or coat pocket and I happen to know that she has kept most of them.  Worth the effort!
  • Savor time to do nothing.  We are all so busy multi-tasking that we forget how critical down time is for regenerating the creative, quiet mind.  Have a cup of tea and just be quiet with yourself, your kids or your loved ones and let the mind re-calibrate.  Some of your best ideas or solutions will come from these quiet moments.
  • Defy your need for instant gratification; Cook a nice meal just for the sake of doing so.  Then enjoy it with family or friends while no phones are allowed to be answered or even looked at.  The world will not come to an end because you did not answer that tweet, did not post a photo of the meal on facebook, did not check email for an hour or so.  When did communications from people who are not central to our lives become more important than being with the people who are central to our lives?
  • Making sure relationships are maintained by actually spending time with one another. Physically being with people is the only thing that will give you that sense of human connectedness.  We must forget how to have an actual conversation with the full version of a word, intonation in our voice and eye contact.  Texting and email is an easy way to accomplish some minor communications or knowing where you kids are, but everyone needs to remember how to have and needs to make time for face-to-face conversations.
  • Make phone calls to relatives for no other reason than just to say hi and ask how they are doing. Your elderly parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are not of the digital age.  Remember that and give them the gift of hearing your voice and a few minutes of your time to see how they are doing.
  • Read a book just for fun.  And every now and then read one that is bound by paper, cardboard and leather just to remember the feel of a book, the heft of it, smell of it and the act and sound of turning the pages.
  • Bring common courtesy back to your every day life and see if it is not contagious.  Look up from your phone and say hello to people on the street, hold the door open for the person in front of or behind you, say thank you more often, let the person who needs in your lane in.  I think common courtesy is one thing that would make the world more pleasant, less stressful and is contagious, just like rudeness does the opposite.
  • Schedule Game Night at your home where you and the kids play games where phones, texting and computers are not allowed.  Your kids will love seeing you attempt charades, Cranium or War!  Games are so underrated as way to connect with your kids, but they are also very educational.
  • Schedule a coffee date with several friends that you are not seeing as often and make it a regular date.  Every Sunday at 2pm, the first Monday of the month at 7:00am, the last Friday of every month for dinner or happy hour.  Get a group of them together at once and enjoy the comradery. Put it in the calendar and make it as important as everything else that is in your calendar.
  • Get out of the digital vortex and remember that we still live in the physical world.  We need to remain in the physical world; connecting with people, being in their physical presence, holding our kids hands, hugging them and our SOs.  Touch their arm as you walk by, curl up on the coach for quiet time with them.  It will be soon enough before they won’t make time for family night or will follow your example and not sense the importance of being with you over all of the flashy, inane ways of spending their time.  What do you think you are teaching them when you are physically with them, but mentally in your phone?
  • Remember to enjoy life.  Spend a little time very day thinking about what is good in your life and what you can do to improve your enjoyment of it.  Having a journal is therapeutic for many people.  I have never been good about it, but I do try to spend my time in the car thinking about what I am grateful for.  I try to convert times I am obsessing about what has been wrong about my day to what is right about my life.  It changes your perspective.  Train yourself to be aware of the positives in your life and you will find that you notice the good things more often than you think about the bad.  Think of yourself as a lucky person and you will find you notice your good luck more frequently.  Perspective is everything; open yourself up to all the parts of your life that are working and you find that your life starts to work better.
  • Live, Laugh, Love.  Get off the phone and the computer and relate to the people around you.  That’s where the best times exist and where memories are made.
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