I was challenged by my pastor a couple of months ago about giving. He said, “10 percent isn’t giving. 10 percent is returning…giving actually begins with the 11th percent.” I thought that was awesome. While I feel like we’re good on the money stuff, I know that I’m not good on the topic of time.
If you consider yourself a high achiever, and you love getting stuff done, then I’m assuming, like me, you may struggle with turning it all off. If you lead anything, if you’re in sales, if you’re a pastor, self-employed, working from home or on the road this becomes infinitely more difficult.
I live in Denver. I have East Coast clients that start at 5a my time. I have West Coast friends that work well in to what I’d call quitting time. I work with many who work Saturdays.
I love what I do…too much most of the time. I love being on teams that just get it done and I’ve said things like “every email and voice mail returned by 5p” to those I lead. But then…in this time zone is that 3pm? Is it 7pm? It’s both, actually.
So, for the past several weeks I’ve been choosing one day a week to completely unplug. No laptop and no phone. For many of you right now you can click away…no need to finish reading. But for me, and many like me, this is a big deal.
I’ve heard countless sermons and opinions on the issue of taking a Sabbath Day. That’s not really what this post is about. It’s really about two ideas:
1. Returning to God a portion of what is already His in the first place. Similar to that message on money that I had heard…this is not my life.
2. I don’t need to do this. I’m not going through this discipline because I’m stressed, angry, or out of balance. I’m doing this because it is forcing my mind heavenward every time I have a thought about email, social media, or if that client has texted me yet. This feels like hundreds of times a day when I’m without my devices. (By the way…do you also feel your phone vibrate even when it’s not in your pocket?
What I’ve discovered:
1. The sun still rises and sets if I’m not plugged in. (amazing...I know)
2. ONCE I missed a critical text from a client, and I easily recovered the following day.
3. Most of the time the unreturned stuff takes care of itself.
4. I’m beginning to enjoy it…more reading, more shooting hoops, more walks, and more naps.
Now, I’m not saying this is for everyone. I’m not saying you actually should do this. I would say at the very least you’d best run it by your boss / team to make sure you aren’t letting people down. (BTW I also have an exec who knows how to find me should something really bad happen…so far…it hasn’t.)
I am saying that if you consider yourself high-achieving and find fulfillment in how much you get done that it might be great to try and practice: The Spiritual Discipline of Unplugging.