The late Stephen Covey wrote in his famous book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, that one of those critical habits was the ability to “Sharpen The Saw”. In essence the ability of each of us to recharge our physical, mental and emotional batteries on a professional and a personal level.
In the all things digital, multitasking at every corner, more results with less resources world of the 21st Century, the ability to sharpen the saw has become exponentially daunting. That’s why I really like this post by Arianna Huffington and her Seven Day Unplug Challenge….and I’m willing to bet that it will prove to be much more challenging than it sounds.
In order to sharpen that saw in today’s world, simply shutting off the devices may not suffice. It also means coping with the by-products of the digital lifestyle so many have become accustomed to;
Admit it, you answer those Tweets, texts and emails that wake you up at 1am…that’s because not only is your iPhone on, it’s up full volume and next to your bed because you cannot stand to be disconnected. Guess what? That has an affect on proper rest and you’re kidding yourself if you think that does not have long term consequences. Just as one less trip to the gym or hiking or yoga in lieu of pc, iPad or video game time.
There is already tons of evidence that digital age multitasking has not only lowered people’s attention span and ability to focus but has lowered the overall quality of the individual tasks done. That can have a drastic impact on brain elevating activities like; reading for understanding, introspection, meditation, etc.
Dan Buettner, in his books on longevity like “Thrive” suggest that significant social connections and face to face interactions are a commonality among those who live vibrant lives even past 100. Yet healthy, face to face, conversation is rapidly becoming a lost art even in professional circles. The digital age has made it possible to almost never see anyone face to face, which almost violates the last 10,000 years of human evolution.
The great news is that all of these challenges can be overcome. The real question is, “What are you doing about them? Are you taking up the challenge as well?”