People are on the right track.

Turning off notifications is a good idea as a way to avoid constant reminders that someone, somewhere, has said something that may require our attention and remove it from the people who are in front of us.

Limiting use of phones at dinner is another simple way to take a small break from social media availability and focus on the people you are with in real life.

This can also be a way to practice limiting use at other times, as you become more used to having your phone turned off or in another room.

Here are some additional strategies that can work:

•Go Offline at Certain Times of Day: If you create windows when you are not available (like dinnertime, after a certain time of night, or even every other hour), you begin to teach yourself how to limit your availability. You also teach others not to expect you to be constantly available. This small boundary may make it easier to disconnect at other times and in other ways.

•Become Comfortable with "Sleep Mode": Putting your phone on "sleep mode" and only checking it once an hour is a good way to keep notifications functional but silent, so you can choose when to let them interrupt your day. This puts you in greater control.

•Ask People to Call You On It: Enlist help by announcing that you’d like to check your phone less when you are with people. You can even make a pact with others that none of you will be on your phones when you are together, as in "olden times" (like 2005). This can help you to stay connected with those you’re with, and make it into a game of sorts, rather than something you try to do alone.

•Delete Your Apps: If you delete social media apps on your phone, you’ll be forced to only use them when you are at your computer or tablet. This makes it more challenging to maintain a mindless habit of checking your phone, but it doesn’t cut you off entirely. The idea is to make yourself think about it more, and to make social media less available—but not completely inaccessible.

•Try Meditation: Because checking your phone can be such an insidious habit, it’s easy to do it without thinking. Getting into a new habit like meditation can help you to become more conscious of the present moment, the here and now. That can also help you to get into the practice of being here, now, rather than wondering who else is saying something online. Practice being fully present and it will become easier to keep your phone in your pocket.

by Rituparna Malini at https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/phone-detox-5-ways-to-go-back-to-good-old-days/m-lite

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A decade ago, we started a new annual tradition: sitting down to write a letter about our work in philanthropy. We got the idea from our friend Warren Buffett, who’s been writing brilliant reports to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway for more than half a century.

This year we’re marking our 10th letter by answering 10 tough questions about our work that people often ask us. Here is one of them. You can read the rest at gatesletter.com.

Why are you really giving your money away—what’s in it for you?

Bill: It’s not because we think about how we’ll be remembered. We would be delighted if someday diseases like polio and malaria are a distant memory, and the fact that we worked on them is too.

There are two reasons to do something like this. One is that it’s meaningful work. Even before we got married, we talked about how we would eventually spend a lot of time on philanthropy. We think that’s a basic responsibility of anyone with a lot of money. Once you’ve taken care of yourself and your children, the best use of extra wealth is to give it back to society.

The other reason is that we have fun doing it. Both of us love digging into the science behind our work. At Microsoft, I got deep into computer science. At the foundation, it’s computer science plus biology, chemistry, agronomy, and more. I’ll spend hours talking to a crop researcher or an HIV expert, and then I’ll go home, dying to tell Melinda what I’ve learned.

It’s rare to have a job where you get to have both a big impact and a lot of fun. I had it with Microsoft, and I have it with the foundation. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the bulk of my time.

Melinda: We both come from families that believed in leaving the world better than you found it. My parents made sure my siblings and I took the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church to heart. Bill’s mom was known, and his dad still is known, for showing up to advocate for a dizzying number of important causes and support more local organizations than you can count.

When we got to know Warren Buffett, we discovered that he was steeped in those same values, even though he grew up in a different place and at a different time. When Warren entrusted us with giving away a large portion of his wealth, we redoubled our efforts to live up to the values we share.

Of course, these values are not unique to the three of us. Millions of people give back by volunteering their time and donating money to help others. We are, however, in the more unusual position of having a lot of money to donate. Our goal is to do what our parents taught us and do our part to make the world better.

Bill and I have been doing this work, more or less full-time, for 17 years. That’s the majority of our marriage. It’s almost the entirety of our children’s lives. By now the foundation’s work has become inseparable from who we are. We do the work because it’s our life.

We’ve tried to pass on values to our children by talking with them about the foundation’s work, and, as they’ve gotten older, taking them with us on trips so they can see it for themselves. We’ve connected to each other through thousands of daily debriefs on learning sessions, site visits, and strategy meetings. Where we go, who we spend our time with, what we read and watch and listen to—these decisions are made through the prism of our work at the foundation (when we’re not watching The Crown).

Maybe 20 years ago, we could have made a different choice about what to do with our wealth. But now it’s impossible to imagine. If we’d decided to live a different life then, we wouldn’t be us now. This is who we chose to be.

Read the rest of our Annual Letter and ask us your toughest question at gatesletter.com.

Written by

Bill Gates
Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Originally at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-were-really-giving-our-money-away-bill-gates

Let your actions not beg for happiness. When you beg for happiness, you position happiness in the future. Life happens in the present. Treat the present as a present and then you will be total in what you do. When you are total in what you do, then the “totality” brings “fullness” in what you are doing.

I consider the work situation as a field for learning and hence it is a school. One has to be alert that the school is not a nursery. In a nursery, the child is not fully expected to take care of him or herself but in a school one has to take care of oneself. In a school the child is expected to have more responsibility, the teacher gives information, but the learning has to happen by the student. That is not the case in a nursery. So, are you in a nursery or a school? Live like an adult, take charge of your life and be responsible for your physical health, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual health.

We don’t learn from a problem because we don’t want to grow up. A child cries when it wants anything and expects others to fulfill what it wants. Emotionally, an adult cries for this or that at home or office and such emotional crying expresses itself in the form of complaints. Learn to grow up and take responsibility. The art of growing up is living in the school of life, where learning is focused, and taking responsibility for all dimensions of wellness.

By Swami Sukhabodhananda

Originally at https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/the-speaking-tree/grow-up-be-responsible-2/

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