Taking A Timeout
I have often said that I love technology. So, to be clear, let me say it again: “I LOVE TECHNOLOGY.”BUT…(you knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you?) we live in a society that becomes more connected each day. We simply do not disconnect anymore. When was the last time many of us took a sick or vacation day and didn’t do ANY work? Do you feel like you really did not disconnect? I do not and, for many, I would assume the same could be true for you. Could it be we should sometime take a professional timeout???
I had the luxury recently of an unexpected visit from one of my oldest and closest friends. He, along with his wife and two-year-old son, arrived Friday evening. Over the length of the visit, it reminded me of and found myself thankful for a friendship that has been cultivated over almost 30-years. This person, who I originally called my best friend in high school, has become a brother to me with the passing of time. Looking at his son, Curtis “CJ” Junior, I am honored that he will know me as Uncle Kyle.
The Work Connection
How does the above impact anything based on work and/or performance? At first read, one might assume that it has no impact. It could be said that this absolutely nothing to do with work. We find ourselves working longer hours. While jobs sometime necessitate these longer hours, some are of our own choice.
Guess what? It doesn’t – and that is the point.
The Bindings of Technology
Our excuses are many:
“I’m sorry. I would love to go with you but I just have so much work to do.”
“Oh, maybe next time. I’d really like to go but I have this deadline that I need to complete early. I want to make sure I leave a good impression.”
“I know. I know. I sound like a broken record but I just can’t. There’s just too much going on right now.”
Disconnecting from Work
At first, this may be okay but what happens when our skipping events becomes the norm? Would we risk sacrificing valuable relationships for a deadline? Does it really matter if we turn in project X at 1pm tomorrow when the deadline is 5pm? (Yes, it may impress your boss – the first time.)
If we constantly excel, might we also risk placing an unrealistic expectation upon ourselves to always over deliver? Alternatively, does that high achievement simply become your expectation in the eyes of the boss?
I could have chosen to work instead of visit, but I valued the time and the relationships. What if I passed on the visit? Saying no would become easier the next time – or maybe the call simply would not come. This is a reminder that – maybe – we should remember to disconnect from work and reconnect with those who matter most.