Does that sound harsh or… Do you admit it? Can you see it? Do you feel that pull towards the very thing you know you shouldn’t…
Is it chocolate? Or technology? The mobile phone? Or all of them?
You think I’ll just have a quick look… I’ll just check my email… I’ll just see who’s on facebook… I’ll just eat one piece or slice….
And here’s the thing, it’s a fine line. There is no harm in the ‘just quickly’ whatever. The harm is in doing it all the time.
Suddenly hours have gone by, the chocolate bar has disappeared and you are feeling bloated and guilty with that added feeling of, ‘I don’t know where it went (time or food!)’ and the panic of,’ I have no time to finish what I need to.’
I call it the black hole and it can apply to lots of areas of life. Here’s an example, it’s called “The Social Media Black Hole.”
I decide to send a few tweets, line up some facebook posts and tag a few colleagues and then check my linked in account for updates. I glance at my phone to see that it’s 9am and open up all three pages simultaneously, telling myself it’s quicker that way.
The next thing I realize that it’s 11.43am and I haven’t even uploaded the facebook link I was looking for. What was I thinking? Where did the time go? What about my deadlines?
Does this sound familiar?
Well, at first I thought that my phone wasn’t working, the clock was clearly wrong. Then I decided that it was pure avoidance; I must be resisting something so I allow myself to get distracted. But soon I realized the truth. Some things are simply addictive. Once you start it’s REALLY hard to stop.
But here’s the good news. It’s not everything, it’s not uncontrollable, and you can DO SOMETHING!
So, it’s not everything – NO, you have your pet addictions, the specific things that pull you in. Is it a food type? Or a type of technology? Do you check Facebook all the time or is it your email?
I don’t like television much, so I’m never attracted by watching just one show. It just doesn’t do it for me. But you know what yours is. So just face it, say it and understand it.
You can control this. You have to create strategies and practices that allow you access, but limit the time and energy you spend there. I don’t believe in diets, I can’t deny myself chocolate or anything forever, but I can set limits and you can too!
So, set yourself a kind limit. Allow yourself a Facebook feed a few times a day…just not several times an hour. Check your email at the start of the day and the end. Or better stil l, use your favorite addictive activities when you have an external limit; so check Facebook 5 minutes before you have to leave to pick up the kids. Or check your email in between client meetings.
Most importantly, keep on top of your time and energy. Don’t waste it, it’s precious. Don’t feed your mind and body with limitless junk, they are what keep you healthy, focused, creative and on track in everything that’s really important in your life and work.
So don’t be harsh or extreme. Be kind. And see how you will treasure your time and energy and you will thank yourself for it.