Airplane Mode: Apply Liberally

[In my January 1, 2015 post, I christened this the “Year of Learning” here on the blog. Each post, I’ll aim to share something recently discovered (or re-discovered) in the hope that you might add my learning to your own discoveries and make double-moves forward and upward this year!]

airplaneWhen I was younger, I was always amused at creams or ointments that would include in their instructions the phrase “Apply Liberally.”

It was permission — more than that, an urging — to be generously free-wheeling with the application of their product. Don’t cheap out. Don’t fear side effects. Go for it. If a bit is good, imagine what more might achieve!

I’ve learned that Airplane Mode might be treated the same way.

In case you need a catch-up, Airplane Mode is a setting on electronic devices like cell phones and tablets that provides a one-click cutting-off from all external signals. As the name suggests, it was designed with air travel in mind, so that we could all respond in a split second to the flight attendant’s request that all transmitting devices be shut off. This great feature provides the compromise humanity has longed for: We can now appease the flight attendant and keep playing Angry Birds.

My discovery: Use Airplane Mode more liberally than that.

Nights: I flip on Airplane Mode right before I determine it’s close-my-eyes time. Who needs a sound sleep interrupted by even the vibration of a not-quite-silent phone?

Meals: If you’ve ever determined that family suppers are being compromised by texts or tweets, treat your dining table as an airliner. Your spouse will love you, and you may well rediscover the pleasure of a beep-free meal.

Visits: Rediscover the luxuries of speaking with and listening to the people your Facebook page claims you love most. When anyone can interrupt any moment for any reason, something has been lost — mark that down. This available-at-all-moments access, once reserved for brain surgeons and rulers of nations, now proceeds to thin out every moment in which all of us live. Hit Airplane Mode for an hour, and re-establish your skills at attentively caring for one person at a time.

Movies: Theaters already warn customers to turn off their phones so as to avoid being pummeled by angry film buffs during the show. If powering off seems too extreme, use Airplane Mode to fully engage in your entertainment and save your skin.

Thinking: There are some tasks that can be achieved with the fringes of one’s attention. But there are other tasks (particularly creative work or focused study) that demand our uncompromised A-game. Why self-sabotage by holding or wearing a buzz-bomb through which any time-terrorist can detonate the device and blow your hard-earned train of thought right off the tracks? In the name of efficiency, use Airplane Mode. Flip it back when you need that mental breather later on, and grant yourself freedom to ride every wave of inspiration or concentration as far as you can.

Airplane Mode: Start applying it liberally. You may be surprised at its healing benefits!



Seven Minutes to Better Health

I just completed this workout for the first time.

12well_physed-superJumboThe concept is built upon the theory of interval training, which is hardly a new idea. This version or workout has been featured on a number of websites lately, and I was up for something new. I can not say whether this method maximizes results, but I can attest to having a decent sweat and a faster pulse at the end.

If you’ve got seven minutes and some extra calories to burn, the image above sketches out the flow of exercises, and THIS LINK provides a perfect timing and instruction companion to free you up to think about more important things… like breathing.

Tuesday Trick: Preaching Christ from the Old Testament


In a change-up that would cause envy in any MLB pitcher, today’s Tuesday Trick detours a million miles from the typical tidbits about productivity or technology, all the way to the realm of biblical preaching.

From the Gospel Coalition comes this brief (maybe 10 minutes) interview with Owen Strachan, professor of theology and church history at Boyce College, on the challenge but importance of preaching Jesus Christ from the Old Testament.  How does one do it, while being faithful to the context and message unique to the Old Testament period and writings, while allowing Jesus to be the interpretive lens, the Logos, for God’s entire Story?

To the pastors out there, if you’ve ever wondered how to faithfully preach Christ from the three-quarters of Scripture that aren’t blatantly zoomed in on him, then THIS may be helpful.


Tuesday Trick: Keeping Your Tie Straight

Many of my Tuesday Tricks focus on issues of productivity and organization.  Today’s offering will help you look sharp WHILE pursuing such ventures.

Here is Whitson Gordon on how to keep your tie straight without spending a cent OR wearing an awkward tie clip.  (I intend to try this the next time I “tie one on”.  And yes, I feel a suspicion that I may have misused that idiom.)

Tuesday Trick: How to Focus When You’re Juggling Lots of Different Tasks

Any site named Dumb Little Man is going to grab my eye–“takes one to know one” or something like that.  Last week, this short four-point article was part of the scenery for silly small fellows like myself.

For anyone who has ever wrestled toward greater productivity, numbers one and two on this list are likely familiar, perhaps even constant habits.

However, numbers three and four will strike many readers as counter-intuitive.  The third point resonates with a truth I swear by, yet struggle to implement as militantly as I should.  The final suggestion may make more difference than I could even vouch for, as I am not very skilled in this discipline.

Beyond these four, how do YOU lock in and focus when you need it most?

Please hit “Leave a Reply” at the bottom this post OR the speech bubble at the top of this post to share.