Walker is a technology and digital marketing consultancy and so we live and breathe technology, but, as the CEO, I am very aware of the need to keep the human side of the equation top of mind. Technology has changed our lives for better and for worse. When my son is in another country paddling class 5 rapids, it’s great to get the occasional text. And when I want to know what a Titanoba is (it’s a giant extinct snake!), it’s great to have Google. However, when I’m trying to wrap up the week and my organized but endless electronic task list weighs on me, and when I look up on Saturday morning only to find it’s almost lunch time and my dog is looking pitifully at me wondering how I can waste a perfectly beautiful morning staring at a screen, it’s not so great.
When you feel like your technology owns you rather than the other way around, it’s time to turn off your devices, stand up and do something. Here are some ideas that work for me.
- Go for a walk, ideally with a friend or someone you’d like to get to know better. Head to the reservoir, walk along the river, hike up a mountain… just getting out into nature is tonic and sharing the time with someone you like is immensely re-centering.
- Cultivate a body hobby – gardening, dance, archery… Technology is all in your head so finding something that involves other body parts is key. I paint. It uses a different part of my head than technology and, while I love the undo feature on my Ipad sketch app, I think I’ll always prefer the feeling of a paintbrush dipping into buttery paint. Do something with your hands — and feet!
- Sign up for a class. You’ll meet people and learn something new.
- Go play – frisbee, soccer, biking. Pick your passion and find a local team. It’s another way to get out of your head and into your body. And it’s always more fun to play with someone else!
- Cook! I came home from Italy a few years ago with a new habit. Now, every Sunday, I cook fresh pasta from scratch (it’s easy!) for dinner. I put on Italian music to sing along with as I roll out the dough and my husband pours the wine. Cooking and sharing a meal connects you to the earth and to each other (with no cell phones, of course).
In the past, we did more of these activities because the alternative was to be bored. Now, we have limitless opportunities to entertain ourselves, but it often comes with that spinning top feeling (going fast and getting nowhere). Enjoy (and appreciate) the technology but set aside time to turn it off and tune in to those things that nurture.
How do you turn off and tune in?
Here’s a TED talk on the topic….