Most of us wake up and are at the whim of everyone and anyone that wants our time - clients, staff, friends, family, the list goes on.
The platforms that we frequent trade in our attention and focus, and when that’s not enough, so do all media outlets, sports - everything.
I believe that you should begin every day of your life on your own terms. To me, this means that you should begin each day - disconnected.
First thing in the morning, you shouldn’t need to worry yourself with all the ups and downs of modernity - social media, phone calls, text messages, the news, videos, tweets, et al.
The reason is simple: the minute you turn your cellphone on to scroll your feeds, you are no longer in control; you get taken down the Rabbit Hole of whoever wrote this, Tweeted that, of whatever news article is trending.
The challenge of the modern world is that if we wanted to, we could endlessly consume without putting anything of meaning out into the universe. And, if you start your day of with consumption, you set the tone for what the rest of the day will look like. Starting with input means that it becomes increasingly difficult to output.
The irony of starting disconnected is that you will be more connected to YOU. You will be in your mind and body and spirit. You get to have a conversation with who you truly are, you get to be creative, and you get to spend the time however you really want to, working towards the betterment of your being.
I always start the day off with some light stretching and meditation. I get into myself, talk to myself, and feel my body and how everything is going today.
Then, I write. I put myself on the page. It doesn’t matter what it is - a journal entry, how I’m feeling, a blog post, whatever - I want to create something to set the tone of the day - creative, output instead of input, build.
For much of my morning, I leave my cellphone on airplane mode. It comes with me to the gym to do my morning cardio so that I can listen to a podcast I downloaded the night before, but otherwise, it stays off until I am showered and out the door.
People do not get to reach me before 8am.
I am not to be pulled in any direction besides the one that I have intentionally set for myself.
The reason I adopted this practice is that as a business owner, you can be plugged in 25 hours a day if you want to be. You will never get to be by yourself, or with those that you love, if you decide to be connected all of the time.
For me the moment of clarity came when I saw parents on their phones when they are with their children. The child is right in front of you yet you are somewhere else. This is an obvious sign that we are not living how we should be.
I don’t want to be guided by anything but my own focus.
I see so many people that have attention spans in the seconds, they cannot even hold focus in a one on one meeting. Their mind is somewhere else, conditioned by the noise of the world, the constant blips and dings of technology.
Try it for a week. Start the first hour of your day completely disconnected - No phone, no social media, no news, no internet - Only you, yourself, your thoughts, and your family.
I think you’ll find it peaceful, energizing, and like you have control again.
Then, and only then, you can deal with the chaos of the world - on your own time.