Time for the adult swim – just a quick dip

We need more rational adults to tell people in leadership and legislative positions to “get out of the pool, it is time for the adult swim.” The message is simple – “you folks are too worried about keeping your job, than to do your job.” The lobbyists pay a lot of money to get these funded drones to look the other way or do their bidding.

So, with the more rational adults in charge, no more Q conspiracies, no more pretending climate change is not a problem, plastic in the ocean the size of Texas is not a problem, poverty and hunger are not problems, gun violence is not a problem, debt is not a problem, racial bias is not a problem, the lack of civility is not a problem, etc.

Finally, if the people in leadership positions start to focus on the multiple causes of real problems and actually use data and science to discuss solutions, then those biased talking heads with audiences will be forced to discuss these matters as well. Frankly, it is highly disappointing and embarrassing to witness how often these talking heads intentionally or accidentally misinform people.

Unplugging for your health and sanity

On CBS Good Morning, a poll on New Year’s Resolutions noted the fifth most popular resolution is to “unplug.” I have written before about this topic, but with people sensing being too connected is a problem, I thought I would rehash a few things. My favorite quote comes from a communication consultant, of all people, who observed “you can be too connected.” He is right and more folks are agreeing with him.

Being too connected means you are constantly on alert status. You feel obligated to look and respond to any ping from your mobile device. When I first wrote this, my major focus was work texts and emails. If you never unplug, then you are constantly working or thinking about work. Checking emails at 10 pm does not impress me. It also means you will have only passed the baton and will get it back when you awake the next morning.

Yet, personal texts, instant messages and emails, can cause a similar level of angst. There is a feeling you will be “out of the loop” or unneeded should you forego answering a message. You feel less wanted when someone does not immediately respond to your message, even when you do not ask a question.

Since the urge to remain connected is a strong one, the best way I have found is to compartmentalize your check-ins. If you feel your job cannot let you relax and stay unconnected during off hours (that is a debatable point), I would suggest you allow fifteen to twenty minutes of check-in time for work after the kids are in bed and then set the device aside for the night.  The same holds true for personal messages. Set aside a focused amount of time and then turn the device off. You can even tell your friends that you are doing this, so they will not be offended by lack of response.

The above actions will be helpful to your mental health, but also to your physical health. You need to be unconnected from technology and especially from work to minimize stress. The same holds true when you go on vacation. If you need to check in, compartmentalize the time and then be done with it. It is unfair to you, your family and your co-workers. The co-worker unfairness part may sound strange, but if a boss keeps checking in, that sets the wrong example to the staff. And, I am citing a staff member who said this to her boss.

Unplugging will do wonders for your health. And, if someone comments to you about not returning a message immediately, tell them straight up what you are doing and encourage them to do the same. Finally, speaking of health, more states are passing laws banning texting while driving. Heed this law as it will save your life and that of others.



New Year’s resolutions I can keep

It is that time of year to say farewell to an old year and welcome a new one. I am not too keen on making resolutions, as they usually don’t last too long into the year. They are not unlike the sand castle virtues I wrote about in my previous post. So, with that in mind, what are some resolutions that I can keep alive in 2015?

– I resolve to remain imperfect. I will do my best to mitigate the impact of my imperfections, but they will shine through.

– I resolve to try to maintain my weight. I am good at trying to do this and sometimes I am successful. It is the sustainability of that success that usually gets me.

– I resolve to lose more of my hair. Look at it this way, I am just gaining face and visible scalp. Maybe I will invest in Coppertone stock.

– I resolve to retell stories I have told several times before. And, when I ask my kids if I told them that before, they will say only five or six times.

– I resolve to try to stay married for my 30th anniversary. Thank goodness my wife has a good sense of humor, otherwise we may not have made it to ten.

– I resolve to treat others like I want to be treated. I will fail on occasion, but know that I will feel badly when I do and apologize when I can.

– I resolve to continue to focus on the issues of the day and not who is winning a political game. I will do my best to give a needed voice to the disenfranchised, as they tend to get lost in far too many political calculations.

– I resolve to love my kids and my wife. That is the easiest resolution to make.

So, I think I can keep the above. But, I did note my resolution to remain imperfect. So, we will see. Let me know some of yours. Have a safe New Year’s celebration and a wonderful 2015.