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Time to uplug--it’s 2009 Turnoff Week

The goal: don’t use screened media for recreation. So that’s the television, computer games, social media sites, handheld devices….you get the picture.

What should you do with all this time you will have?
Sit on the porch
Play a board game
Read a book
Visit with the neighbors
Work in your yard or garden
Clean house
Ride a bike
Go to a lecture, concert, baseball game
Work on a jigsaw puzzle
Exercise—swim, do yoga, take a walk
Listen to music, make music
Visit a library, an art exhibit, a park

What does this have to do with civility in the workplace?
P.M. Forni, founder of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, cites 11 reasons as the cause of rudeness in his 2008 book ‘The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude’.
“…stress is a major cause or catalyst of hostility, incivility and bullying.”

Here’s a great lead-in to an article in an online newsletter out of the United Kingdom:
“Just when they thought things couldn't get any worse, many organizations are seeing employee morale plummet as long hours, anxiety, uncertainty and stress sends productivity and engagement levels through the floor.”

Another reason Forni cites as a cause of rudeness is not needing others. “..we feel that we do not need others that much as long as an alluring and comforting screen keeps burning bright at the very heart of our lives.”

Physical and mental activity in your away from work hours, talking to people—those kinds of things will help you return to work with a more civil attitude.

Make a concerted effort this week to turn off the screens
I’ll try too. Just think of the things we might do. Let me know how that goes and what you did with your time.

From Nielson 2006
The average U.S. household has 2.55 people.
The average U.S. household has 2.73 televisions. (Maybe that will drop with HD TV?)

Center for Screen-Time Awareness, www.screentime.org


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Walking is my preferred unplugged activity. Yesterday morning we walked through the neighborhood and the afternoon included a wonderful time exploring campus (buildings, gardens and other areas). Tonight it's a guided walk in the prairie. Perfect weather too!