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Appreciate it.

It’s the holiday season; some are busy doing last minute shopping; while others are spending the time off with their loved ones.

As for me, I kept a simple plan: I decided to turn off all notifications; checked my emails once a day; squeezed in a couple of chapters of reading; and enjoyed precious time with my family.

I pictured myself turning off all of the notifications from my phone; nothing happened.  That’s the point.  Nothing should happen.  Then, later I realized, something did happen later in the day: I found myself not glancing for any numbers inside a red circle on any of my apps.  It felt great.  It dawned on me how a bad of a habit it was.

The next thing I did was—and you will never believe it—removed Outlook from my phone.  I figured Outlook was one of the apps I constantly check.  If apps’ icons fade because of long-term use, my Outlook will sport a lighter than normal blue color.  I thought it was a no-brainer, my goal was to check work emails only once a day.

Now, what can I do with the surplus of time from not checking emails and apps’ notifications?  I decided to finish reading two of the books—Ultralearning and Hidden Brain—that I have been longing to get done.  I am certain the people waiting to get a chance to read these books—I borrowed them from the library—will find it an early surprise as it came sooner.

As the distractions of mobile devices dwindle down, I found myself sitting here next to my wife and daughter.  I appreciate the time off from work and the joy of having the luxury of being around with my loved ones.  I appreciate watching my daughter read her book out loud.  I appreciate glancing at my beautiful wife.

There are many things in life that will line up to take your time away from what truly matters.  It’s up to us how we prioritize them.  Some may not have that opportunity and I want you to appreciate that you can.  #yolo

Appreciate it.
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