Some of you will think I’m crazy. Others will think I’m kidding.
I canceled my cell phone service.
I didn’t change to a different carrier. I canceled my service. I no longer use a cell phone.
Here’s a question for you to consider: Do you really need your cell phone? I know I’m treading on sacred ground here because we all “need” our cell phones, right? Well, maybe not. I personally have improved the quality of my life by eliminating my cell phone.
I earnestly began to think about the advantages and disadvantages of a cell phone during a time when I was feeling overloaded with work. I was working long days and would usually go home each evening with many uncompleted tasks still on my to do list. I kept trying to figure out how to slow things down so I could get caught up. I started to focus on interruptions. It seemed like I had a lot of interruptions throughout my day. As I focused on the source of those interruptions, I realized I was getting many, many cell phone calls throughout the day. The calls started early, continued during my lunch and dinner hour, and occurred well into the evening.
I soon arrived at a new conclusion about my “busy” life. I started to feel like I wasn’t too busy… I was too interrupted. Twenty-five years ago, when I began my printing career, if someone wanted to communicate with me, they could either call me, write me, or stop in to see me. When I think back to those days, it was relatively easy to manage interruptions. But today, technology has brought faxes, FedEx, voicemail, e-mail, cell phones, texting, Twitter, and Facebook to our lives. Of course, each of those technologies competes for our attention. As I reflected on the many interruptions I was getting every day, I decided to do the unthinkable… and give up my cell phone.
On New Year’s Eve, my wife Jenny and I shut off our cell phones and threw them into the wastebasket under our kitchen sink.
Guess what? The world didn’t stop… but amazingly, the 50 interruptions we each average every single week went away. They simply vanished. I’m not sure where those phone calls went, but they just went away.
Just think about that for a minute because I’m sure you (like me) really have convinced yourself that you need your cell phone. I quickly found that I didn’t need my cell phone at all. My business life didn’t suffer, my social life didn’t suffer, my kids still talk to me, and I’m just as close to my extended family as I’ve always been. The only difference is that I have almost 250 fewer interruptions every single month. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? How much additional income could you earn with that extra time?
Almost every printing executive I talk to tells me they’re “too busy.” I wonder if maybe part of their ‘busyness’ stems from their over-interrupted lifestyle.
Not having a cell phone has caused a few minor inconveniences, but the tranquility (and clearheaded thinking time) I have enjoyed without a cell phone has been stellar.