In today’s connected world it is not uncommon for us always to be plugged in or connected to something, leaving little or no time for us to appreciate the power of unplugging and just thinking. This doesn’t mean that we don’t think while we are using tech or typing this blog for example… what I am referring to is the importance of being able to unplug and let your mind wander.

Technology has a firm grip on us – our smart watches, smart phones and laptops. Some will argue that we are continuously connected and the only time that we are disconnected is during the few of hours sleep we get each night or when we enter a part of the country/globe that does not have cell phone reception or Wi-Fi access.

Technology, always connected

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? The response will vary depending on who you ask and how much time of their day they spend connected to their devices. Connectivity can be extremely positive.  The joys of being able to jump on a Wi-Fi network or your personal hot-spot on your cell phone certainly means that you can work/communicate from wherever you might be. This is especially appealing to digital nomads who swear by the work/life model. For others always being connected isn’t a good thing and they will intentionally not have their work emails linked to their cell phones.

Personally, I think it all comes down to time management and how you spend your time. Time management is a highly underrated skill. Some people are better at planning the finer details than others, but we should all learn the basics. Over the last couple of weeks, I have challenged myself to consciously make more time for thinking: blocking out thinking time in my schedule to look at the bigger picture and consider the connections, possibilities and opportunities that are all around us. It is very easy to keep moving from one item on your list to the next without making time for an evaluation of what you have done.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy always being connected as this plays a massive role in allowing us to work in the way that we do. Being in the digital realm means that we consciously need to block out time to stop and think.

It is easy to opt out and to say that you do not have the time. Life is full of trade-offs. Sure, there are occasions where things don’t work out the way we had planned. We need to adjust and compromise every now and again…but always remember to make time for yourself.

In a continuously connected space, part of giving yourself time to think means reading more and stretching yourself to look at things differently. Here are two great reads which provided me with the building blocks for this blog and provided me with some perspective:

The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You

We Dare You to Try the “20 Seconds of Courage” Challenge

Remember: make time to think and consciously plan for it! Time management is important; we can always aim to do things better and learn more. Make time for yourself, even if it’s 10 minutes a day. You will be amazed by the impact that this will have on you.