Do you truly switch off during “leisure time?”

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I was watching the show of an American TV host (as you do) and she discussed a rather important issue; people carrying out a number of activities at once. She mentioned those who watch television programmes or films whilst surfing the Internet. She went on to question how on earth can they fully engage in either activity.  I will gladly put my hands up and confess that I am a culprit of this. I must say only when the programme or film fails to captivate my attention. I am a fussy viewer, I will not watch anything with particular actors/ actresses as the lead role. Ocassionally, I fail to see the fuss in films which others rave about. I obviously expect far too much!

It really is a bad habit to dip in and out of activity but is this what we have become accustomed to; multi-tasking even during leisure time?

Now, we have a multitude of online games, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapshot, a gazillion blogs to read and so on, we can if not careful spread ourselves too thinly. Nowadays, I stick to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and this is primarily due to blogging and wanting to increase my readership. On first joining twitter this year (an extremely late starter) I was rather overwhelmed by the number of bloggers which existed. It felt as if I had walked into a whole new world!

I try as much as possible to post on FaceBook/twitter, draft my blogs, message readers/followers whilst on my commute or late at night. This enables me to truly be “with” my family when I am with them.  Family time, prayer and bible reading time is important to me and as a result, I factor this time in BEFORE carrying out other activities. 

Whilst I cannot promise to refrain from using my phone whilst watching disappointing films, I will endeavour to be present when with others, whether watching a film or eating a meal with friends. 

Do you easily switch off during leisure time?

Do you allocate regular time for specific activities?

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31 thoughts on “Do you truly switch off during “leisure time?””

  1. If TV programmes and movies fail to hold your attention, then you might as well ‘multitask’ during them, why not? Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from not watching that stuff in the first place. I myself watch only a minimal amount of TV and I only rarely go to the movies, and I have to say that I don’t feel I’m missing anything at all. So be brave and turn the telly off, Phoenicia, we know you can do it, we’re counting on you to do the right thing! 🙂

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  2. With all of our technology, it is almost impossible to switch it all off. I do know some people who think being on FB or other sites are actually leisure time. We must remember switching off means off everything, thanks for sharing.

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  3. I was talking with my husband last night when he started texting his mother. And so I knew I was only getting a tiny bit of his attention. But that is the world we live in these days. It is considered normal to only give something or someone just half of your attention. It would have been rude just a generation ago. And my husband under most circumstances is an extremely, extremely overly-polite guy.

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  4. For as long as I can remember I’ve referred to myself as an unapologetic workaholic, but I also prefer a single-task work style. That probably sounds like a luxury to some, but I actually picked it up as a survival tactic.

    When I was coaching I had hundreds of clients spread across 3 Islands and people literally reaching out to me 24/7 so I had no choice but to learn to be highly efficient and focused with my time or suffer the consequences. For me, it’s all about energy management and it’s become a lifestyle whether I’m working or not. Thanks for your post Phoenicia, inspiring and thought-provoking as always!

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    1. I have read that it is rarely beneficial to carry out multiple tasks at once – one will always suffer. I agree with your method of focussing on one task/activity at a time. I just need to put this into practice!

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  5. I used to do TV/computer at the same time, but that was before a DVR. I’d fill in commercial-time (endless on our TVs) doing Facebook or Twitter. With a DVR, I kick off a show in less time then go to the computer. I will always be a multi-tasker for things that are not super important. It is what it is and no longer bothers me.
    That said, when I’m writing or with a friend–I am most certainly in that moment with myself or the other person.

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  6. Yes, I’m able to switch off during leisure time. Mind you if it’s something extremely important is going on, say, if someone close to me is between life and death, I would not be able to switch off.

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  7. I am struggling with this myself. Sometimes I will anger my girlfriend by reaching for the phone every time I feel a vibrate when a new email or text comes in. Over the past few months, I have changed my ways a lot. Do I completely avoid the phone? No, I don’t always win the battle, but I AM winning the war.

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  8. This is a topic often on my mind. Like many people these days, I have to make an effort to switch off. I generally do most of the weekend, but not always. The real struggle is to get my evenings back. We are a world distracted by notifications.

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    1. We certainly are. I have taken a lot of my notifications off Facebook and I also only log onto social media at particular times of the day. This way I see updates when I wish to.

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  9. The phone is a constant distraction. I find myself pulling it out everytime I hit even a moment of inactivity, like waiting on line at a store. Sometimes I intentionally leave it another room so I’m not checking texts of emails.

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  10. Phoenicia – your comment ‘multi-tasking our leisure time’ caught my attention. I hate it when people visit and they sit there checking their phone or texting. But people today are used to it. My nine year old granddaughter has taught herself to knit from a book while watching TV. Not something I could do.

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  11. I am a person who loves to watch TV so if and when I do it, I rather not have my phone in my hands. But I know plenty of people that do what you mentioned above. I haven’t quite understood the reason. I don’t think they are paying attention at all but maybe that’s just me. I always wanted to understand everything fully, so multitasking is not an option most of the time. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. The crucial thing is being present with what you’re doing. I find I cannot listen to music or the radio when I am writing or reading, maybe some instrumental music but mostly I chose not to.
    I wonder do you read out loud with your bible readings? I find reading outloud somehow more engaging.

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    1. Generally I do not read the bible out loud. Since a child I have always enjoyed quiet reading. My daughter likes to read out even when alone. We are all so different!

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  13. I think I am in the process of learning when to switch off and how to better allocate my time. Being active on social media goes hand in hand with being a blogger and it can be hard to disconnect. But it is important to have times when that is not your focus and you can be with friends and family. P.S. I think it is perfectly fine to use your phone during disappointing films. You can get things done and out of the way so you can be fully engaged when you get together later with family or friends.

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  14. Hi Phoenicia. I wish I could completely switch into leisure mode. But it rarely happens, as I do try and catch up with my social media while watching TV with my husband. And almost all of my travel is for work, sky even I often find myself in ‘paradise’ I am working. That is the life of a travel writer.

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  15. Hi Phoenicia,
    As usual, you have picked an important topic that affects most of us! Like you, I find myself multitasking and in doing so, not paying full attention to any of the things I am doing. I’ve been able to learn to stop it, if I want to, and pay full attention to just one thing at a time. But it is tempting to think I can accomplish more by doing two or three things at once. Yesterday I listened to a tape of a local government meeting that I missed attending, in order to write a news story on it, and at the same time I was writing out my monthly bills. I missed some important conversations on the tape, and had to go back and play it again!

    Rin

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    1. It is tempting Dr.Rin as you can feel you are wasting time by not juggling activities. Years ago, life was far less busy. Technology is promoted as making our day to day lives easier – they have also made our lives more complex.

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