Why I don’t look at my phone when you’re calling
I hear it all the time: “You never answer your phone!”
Here are the things I’m crazy about in this life:
— My woman and my boy (and our dog)
— My creative practice
— My relationships. When I’m with someone I want to be with them.
— My spiritual practice
— My sense of sanity
The art gallery requires sometimes hard hours. Once I’m freed from that commitment in my day I don’t want to fritter away my remaining time till I’m there again.
I’m easily drawn away from what I’m doing. Toddlers have longer attention spans.
I’ve learned that if I am to truly relish what I’m engaged in I can’t even look at the phone when it’s ringing. That way there’s no temptation to break stride.
That’s what our personal digital butler is for anyway.
The upper crusty have long had butlers. Though they may be called house managers now. An important function was to intercept those who interrupt.
And that is what your digital device does for you magnificently. It is the great advancement of this era and we abuse it. If you read details of someone’s life as recently as 40 years ago . . . they had to answer the damn phone . . . Answer machines, voicemail, email, texts, those didn’t exist.
We live in a time of magic. Except when you are working — and even there you often have discretion — you can control the times you are in contact and the times you are not.
If you want to write that book, turn it off. The messages will be there an hour later.
If you want to paint that artwork, put it down and keep it down. Guess what, whoever reached out to you will be accessible later.
Your creative practice is more important than interruptions. As are your relationships.
Practice not looking at the phone when it rings. You can do it. Let it ring. Or silence it.
Once you can do that for half an hour, you can do anything.
Really. You can do anything in half-hour or one-hour increments.
Whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do, do it for half an hour. Set a timer.
Then check back in with your digital butler . . . the world will have hardly skipped a beat.
Especially once you train it well.
Focused time is easier to attain than you think. It’s gratifying to exclude the trivial for true immersion into what is important. Great work can’t happen without it.
The world is the best puppy ever. It’s remarkable how well it behaves once you train it.
For you —
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