‘Always on’… that’s what our new connected world is.
How often have you sat up until the early hours of the morning working on a new project, at the same time checking your email, text messages and social media, only to eventually fall into bed and start checking it all again on your smart phone? It’s at a moment like this that you realize your phone isn’t making you any smarter.
We all like to think we are superhuman, but part of being human is taking time to relax, rest, recharge and charge the batteries. Even those selling stocks and shares or emergency workers are not ‘always on’, for the creative ‘always on’ has the potential to kill your creativity.
Why We Need To Rest
I recall reading a study on sleep in Time Magazine around a decade ago, scientists were trying to understand why we sleep. Several theories were cited, but the one that they seemed to think was the most probable reason was that our bodies need time to process the data from the day, order it all and help us to make sense of it. That’s why sleep deprivation is a favoured tactic for interrogation, it messes with the mind and creates confusion, it creates an environment where we are more likely to make mistakes, or say and do the wrong thing.
So if you spend a lot of time right now staring at the screen of your Pro Tools systems, or picking up your instrument and finding nothing, then it’s highly likely that you need to turn it all off. Then turn off all your other technology, honestly no one will die if you don’t post a picture of your lunch on Facebook… really. My wife and I have a deal now that I give her my phone when we go out to eat, now she has my attention. She told me that when I kept checking my phone when we were out it made her feel excluded, that’s not a good way to make anyone feel, especially the person you love. In fact it’s got so bad that I’m often reading messages on Facebook from people saying sorry for taking some time out to relax or attend to their families… this is something we should never apologize for.
But you should also never apologize for taking care of yourself and the mind that powers the gift you have. Some think to be better at what we do we need to keep reading, watching videos, getting more information, the reality is that you also need to process it, that requires rest and reflection.
It’s Time To Turn It All Off
If you are feeling like you have nothing to give then it’s highly likely that’s it’s time to turn off, let your body renew and then see the fruit of your rest.
For some reading this it may just be a weekend that is needed, for others a week, for some who are really burnt out it could take weeks if not months to renew you. You might want to check with your partner to see what they think, my guess is some of them are going to say ‘thank God’ that you’ve decided to do this.
So go on, turn it all off, have some fun, relax and see what happens. You’ll be surprised what happens when you start taking care of yourself.