The real luxuries of the modern world are no longer overseas travel, designer bed linen or even cable TV.
As the technology revolution continues full speed ahead, airlines are discounting travel to more exotic locations, direct outlet sites can have last seasons must have item zooming to your post box at a fraction of the price and next seasons shows will be screened ‘direct’ to their most die hard fans!
Time is the new luxury in this digital age. Time out and time offline. Time in all its forms is fast becoming the one luxury item clients, friends and family alike are wishing, asking and praying for more of.
Time to spend doing one single task at a time, time spent clearly and lovingly connecting with your nearest and dearest, time without having to filter out the background noise of screens from every possible direction. Time quite literally with yourself to spend as you choose with those in your life. (or to yourself)
And even when it does come to the Luxe ‘Stuff’ that new bed linen, is actually selling you the idea of more time to sleep, more time curled up with your partner, more time lying in on a Sunday reading. That feeling of having time to luxuriate.
So just when we are all convinced that time itself is speeding up it’s essential to realise that this feeling wouldn’t be possible if the experience of time itself wasn’t a relative one. (And no I’m not talking bout the theory of relativity here!)
We all know that feeling of losing ourselves in a task that felt like we were there for hours and it was 10 minutes or the opposite of being so immersed in something we love that we didn’t feel the passage of time at all.
What both of these things have in common is the present state of mind we are in. Our experience of time can be literally sped up or slowed down by being WITH ourselves and the task or people present.
That fragmented flustered rushed feeling so many of us have as we think we are multitasking is due to the fact that we aren’t actually present with any of the things we are trying to or be with and it actually takes more time to work this way. There is much literature now on this exact fact and the neurological effect this has on how our brain works. So what can we do to support ourselves in our work and in our personal lives to experience more time?
The idea of a complete digital detox can leave some feeling even more overwhelmed due to the mountain of email they perceive will be waiting for them on their return, but we don’t have to start at the deep end.
At work, scheduling effectively is essential for this, batching emails and like tasks and setting autoresponders to let clients know response times is a great start.
Factoring in cushions of time in your day and week for ‘emergencies’
And I am always suggesting to clients who have PA’s and staff to literally create buffers real and digital so that there is breathing room in their day. Code colors that are used to block out secrets stashes of time to complete tasks or to simply eat lunch free from their laptops.
The very real consequences of burnout, fatigue and anxiety are issues I see every day in the my clinic as a result of clients trying to be everywhere for everyone and rarely with themselves.
Within the home its helpful to set clear boundaries for screen free time before sleep
and ensuring phone free and screen free meals is one very real way to improve our sense of time being had enjoyed and experienced mindfully as we’re not fragmented and distracted.
Many successful people speak of having a day where the family goes screen free.
It isn’t though all about blaming our hight tech lives and the internet as our sole source of loss of time, but it is a big one. The other cultural culprit that goes hand in hand with our ever present screens is our idea that every single minute needs to be productive.
As this article (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/) and many many others cite our brains simply can’t keep up with the ever increasing amount of information that we are presented with every day and the notion that long hours equal extended productivity has been proven false time and time again (pardon the pun)
So whilst time is increasingly seen as a luxury I believe it will in turn become a sought after commodity in health and wellness industry, coaching and business management as we seek to learn how to be better in charge of the technology (and create more stillness and peace of mind) that was designed to free us up to