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June 8, 2012

Creep

How often do you turn off your Smartphone?

Do you have a time during the day when you don’t look at it at all?

I know in my last post I used the example of when we get up in the morning the FIRST thing many of us do is look at our Smartphone, check Facebook, play WordFeud, look at email, etc.

This post isn’t about that.

I’m challenging you to think about the times you actually do turn off your phone.  Do you give your family the attention they need by not allowing yourself to check your phone while you are with them?

They notice.

Do you give your family the respect they deserve by not checking your text messages in the middle of a conversation with your spouse?

They notice.

Following through on what I suggest is something that I have been trying to do for some time now.  I still remember when Blackberry’s had just come out.  I was one of the few in our company that got to have one.  I could check my email anytime, day/night!  Be more productive (I thought?)!  Be in touch and available if I was needed! Man I thought that was so cool.

What I soon discovered though is something called “creep”.  It is deadly.  Slowly, over time, my device habits starting taking over my life.  I would check email in the bathroom… while feeding our infant son… during commercials on TV… while doing the dishes… it didn’t matter when, I was always checking.

And at the same time I was checking email, I was “checking out” on my family and didn’t even know it.

A real Christian Business Man sets boundaries for his phone time.  A real Christian Business Man has rules for when he does/doesn’t look at his phone.  For example part of my policy is that when I walk out of the office for the day I no longer look at my business email until I get to work the next a.m.

BUT THIS IS SO HARD!

I remember when I first tried to do this several years ago.  Boy I was tempted (and did!) to look at my business email.  But once I DIDN’T do it for a couple of weeks, I noticed I had a whole different attitude and perspective.  A lot more things were happening around the house, my family was happier, my wife was happier, even my relationship with my friends showed improvement.

You see, when you look at your device while engaged with someone, you deprive yourself of being “in the moment” and enjoying what is right in front of you, right now.  I understand that sometimes there may be times when you are expected to check your device/email after hours. This is the exception.  If that is the case, then schedule your time that you will check it instead of doing it constantly throughout the night.  Check it once at 7P and then once again at 10p for example.  I have personally found that checking my business email after work hours almost always causes me more anxiety than if I had waited until the next day.  This is because at 10p at night, there really isn’t anything I can do about the situation that I just read about!  So I end up thinking about it, “checking out” mentally at home, losing sleep, etc.

” So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable…” I Cor 15:58

You will have to stay ruthless in your efforts to manage your smartphone time.  Put it down.  Turn it off, don’t allow creep to overcome you.  Your family and your life will be much better for it.

6 Comments on “Creep

Dan Kopp
June 8, 2012 at 9:21 am

Excellent blog! I have found that the moment you check one e-mail on your phone when you are at home, your mind “goes to work” for a while. You don’t mentally leave work the moment you put your phone back down. You’re still there, even if you are physically at home. You’re still thinking about work issues and missing the life that is right in front of you.

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RealChristianBusinessMan
June 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thanks Dan! How true this is. I still struggle with “creep” but am getting better with the help of the Holy Spirit!

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edoubx2
June 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Creep is my ultimate nemesis…. I fight creep nearly everyday, getting better but I have a LONG road to go!!! It got so bad that my daughter hid my phone from me one night…..! LONG Road….

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RealChristianBusinessMan
June 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Don’t be discouraged my brother! The evil one wants us to claim defeat! Keep at it!!

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Brad Doll
June 22, 2012 at 9:32 am

Very helpful post, Don. Thank you. I am a workaholic by nature, upbringing, and habit [as you know 🙂 ], but have been working at setting and maintaining healthy and Godly boundaries for work and social media in my life. I find your blog posts to be extremely helpful in this regard. Please keep them coming, my friend!

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RealChristianBusinessMan
June 22, 2012 at 10:25 am

thank you Brad!

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