I have been wrestling with what to come back to the ‘writing’ table with in trying to write more. I realize that a part of that has to do with what I am writing about today, Finding My OFF Switch. My brain is always running, always racing. It is either filled with thoughts from work, articles, prayers for friends, ministry ideas, book ideas, ministry events, sermon series, how to get through a level on a video game, who I need to meet with, what should I do to show my bride I love her… you name it. I am learning though there is a great need to learn to turn things OFF in our lives. Its not quite a sabbath, but more intentionally turning OFF things in my life so that I can function and breathe more healthily. So here are five ways I am finding my OFF Switch & turning it OFF!
- Keep Phone Volume OFF: This may not sound like a big one, but to screen calls no matter who it is I normally keep my phone on silent. It allows me to not get distracted (or as distracted) but I keep it next to me to see when people are calling. I almost always answer when my wife calls. I have communicated with her that if its during business hours that it better be SUPER important or urgent for me to answer the phone, because I will unless counseling with someone. For other calls I have voice mail for a reason. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to the person, but that I can control my day better if I control the time on the phone.
- Turn Social Media OFF: With Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogging, HootSuite and what not constantly competing for attention I have to just turn it off. I have actually taken both off my iPhone even. To help my mind turn off I need to turn off the world of noise found through social media. I have lots of friends on there/here but in hoping to find God’s voice & my own I need to not hear so many of others.
- Turn the Computer OFF: Sounds simple, but I also find that I am prone to even at home just sit and dink around on the computer. Look at website, read blogs, check social media, answer emails, think of writing blogs, look at upcoming movies & books you name it. Nothing wrong with this just know that it gets my mind racing and can sometimes just be a waste of time every now and then.
- iPhone goes OFF: Every now and then I do just turn my phone off. I know weird right. With my phone being able to access internet, my email, text, the world of social media and connecting me back to work and other things, I find just flipping the switch every now and then is super helpful. I don’t do this often, but I do when I need to.
- Close my ears & turn my mouth OFF!: This is a culmination of all the above. In my time away from social media (I will be talking about this in a few weeks). Not everything in my head needs to be shared. Not everything I hear needs to be discussed or commented on. My influence isn’t completely based on my thoughts or words, so I am learning to turn my ‘voice’ off from time to time. The closing of ears is also helpful. We live in a world where folks want to talk and share their thoughts and opinions… about you, about culture, ministry, politics… you name it. Again if restrain from hearing these things I can restrain my need to think I need to talk about these things.
Now again, none of the things are bad things. Actually a lot of them are great… in moderation. But I am learning for myself that I need to turn things OFF in order to turn the right things ON (next Friday). I have found this necessary to my life lately as I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed after all this summers happenings. We get busier and busier and try going faster and faster. Somethings need to be turned OFF before we burn out.
So what are somethings you need to turn OFF in your world & life?