Is it time to pull the plug?

In today’s modern world, everything has gone electric. We use laptops and mobile phones to control most of our lives, our accounts are mainly paperless and we exist is a virtual space that is portable, and available 24/7.


This can be very convenient, no longer do we need to go into the bank to pay our bills and we can access our documents and control our central heating from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. But there is the danger that we can overload ourselves and never actually get time away from the office – or from other people in general.

Have you experienced the slightly panicky feeling when you out and realise that you have left your mobile phone at home? What if I need to call someone, my car breaks down or someone needs me? And that’s before you start to think about all the other things that your phone does besides make calls, acting as your diary, music player, book reader and general source of entertainment.


Are we in danger of missing out on life itself through being glued to a screen?

I’m not suggesting that we go back to an era when the phone was in the hallway, attached by a cable to the wall, and your mum insisted that you wait until after 6pm to call your friends so that your could be on the heaper call rate. However there is a lot to be said for planning some ‘electronic free time’ into your week, and ideally into each day.

It’s widely understood that the emission of blue light from portable devices, messes around with your circadian rhythms and can lead to poor quality sleep. Some smartphones even have a ‘reduce blue light’ setting on them for use in the evening – where surely the solution is to just turn it off, or at least put it down.

How many hours have you spent looking at nothing much on social media, just because your device was in your hand? Could you do something else with your time? Read a proper book, with pages in. Go for a walk or actually talk to someone?


Personally I choose to leave my phone in the kitchen after dinner and largely at weekends – I may turn the screen on briefly if I go to make a coffee, just to see if I’ve missed any calls – and do you know what, I rarely do.

When we went on holiday to France for 2 weeks this summer, I didn’t check email or social media – and my voicemail explained that I was on holiday, and that clients were welcome to call the office to speak to my PA, or speak to me on my return. But hey, no one minded – and it helped me realise that there is more to life.


As a generation we are in danger of losing skills like conversation and letter writing, and heaven knows what we would do if we had serious power cuts like in the 1970s.


In business, I think there is also a great deal to be said for doing some things with pen and paper.

A colourful Post-it note on your desk of an important task to be done will be a lot more visible to you, than another item on your electronic to-do- list. I also find that our clients love the fact that that they receive proper handwritten birthday and Christmas cards, at a time when most people just put an emoji or two on your Facebook Wall.

I’d love to hear from you, how you’ve implemented some screen-free time in your life – let’s meet for a coffee.

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