Make Down Time Found Time

We complain about not having enough hours in the day to do the things we really want to do.

That’s just not so.

Down time – the time we spend in-between, waiting for, following or in anticipation of something else – is the most valuable real estate in our lives.

Recognize this and find the added time to do more of what you want while still being productive.

But down time is wasted.

The proof is in our pockets.

Pulling out the phone to waste it on more apps, more chat and more diversions from the things we always say we don’t have enough time for is a prime go-to time waster.

Down time is found time when we’re on the lookout for it and it can give back the time we wish we had to use in more productive ways.

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Fewer Friends the Secret to Social Media

A University of Oxford professor Robin Dunbar has come up with the maximum number of social media friends that can be maintained at any given time.

150.

The average Facebook user has over 300 friends – so says a Pew study.

Then add Instagram, Snpachat, Twitter to your universe and you’re spending a lot of time on people who you probably really don’t care about.

In other words, a lot of time is being spent in the black hole of social media where we lose our ability to live in the present and nurture friendships even though we only care about a much smaller number of “friends”.

Snapchat is refocusing on small groups of friends instead of massive numbers so heavy users are beginning to demand social media connections that actually have more meaning.

Fewer social media friends leaves you time for the friends you care about just like in person.

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Barbara Bush

The former first lady who died recently at the age of 92 once enraged the students of Wellesley College by accepting an invitation to speak.

The “just a housewife” Bush was hardly a beacon for women’s rights or so the students thought.

The speech alongside her Soviet counterpart Raisa Gorbechev asked the students to consider making three important life choices.

Believe in something larger than yourself. 

Find the joy in life.

Cherish your human connections.

As for the feminist part of her speech, Barbara Bush surprised again at the end of her talk when she asked the young Wellesley grads to follow their dreams:

“Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse.  I wish him well!” 

Funny, feisty, bold Barbara Bush.

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Trying to be a Perfectionist Causes Anxiety

52% of Millennials say anxiety is their biggest health problem and people of all ages are finding themselves under more stress in the digital age.

Perfectionists are great brain surgeons, lawyers, employers but they are not always happy people.

Trying too hard is bad for anxiety.

Giving your all is a better strategy.

There is a difference.

When consumed with having to get it right (or even working for or being with people who demand perfection), anxiety increases.

Play to win.  Put everything you have into it and then leave perfection to those who are willing to succeed at something at the cost of their health.

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Take a Tech Holiday

How do you put down a phone that does so many things you depend on?

Very carefully, it turns out.

Not all phone apps hijack us to the attention black hole.

Social media does, so start there.  Cutback on social media.  It’s too addictive and it is the biggest detriment to using a mobile device without giving up being present for what’s going on around us.

Spotify, podcasting and endless news feeds hijack our attention from living in the moment.  Use with care because it’s very easy to get caught in a playlist, a podcast or Twitter.

Give yourself permission to go analog at times – weekends, say, when reading print might be a good substitute from digital distraction.

Then, adopt this rule of thumb:  spend as much time face-to-face as you spend on mobile devices and you’re well on your way to a well-earned tech holiday.

Welcome back.

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