There’s a whole great big world out there and we are missing it.

Time-famine and burnout.

Time famine is a fancy term for a condition we’ve all been finding ourselves in since we began “adulting,” and I bet I don’t have to tell you what burnout is. Both of these conditions are prevalent in our society and our homes since technology has invaded and is “in our face” (or our face in it) every day.

Thrive, by Arianna Huffington, talks about time-famine and burnout as she invites us to redefine the word success outside of the traditional box of money and power, and instead to define success by a third metric that has everything to do with carving out unplugged time to explore what is in our present moments.

We can’t escape the reality that every hour we spend online: on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, watching television or Netflix, playing video games, or smart-phoning games and apps is one hour less we have to spend doing any of the many wonderful things one can do offline: time with loved ones, work toward advancing career goals, relaxing, accomplishing important household tasks, maintaining friendships and relationships, learning or studying to advance education goals, enjoying nature or time with God. This lack of purposeful intentional offline time directly drives the famine of time and the burnout it causes.

There will always only be 24 hours in a day. We have to prioritize each hour to maximize them in a way that promotes true satisfaction and contentment. If we can find ways to avoid time famine largely caused by the very technology we thought was going to give us more time, we will experience less burnout. When offline, we focus more on living in the present, setting plans, goals and dreams for the future that truly brings the satisfaction we crave. The things that fall squarely in the category of the third metric Huffington explores.

And besides, there is a great big world out there that we are missing when we are online.


We can’t easily rid our lives of technology, but we can manage this exhausting time famine and burnout by setting aside unplugged time every day and each week.

  • Turn off the TV, phone and tablet an hour before bedtime.
  • Station electronics somewhere besides the bedroom.
  • Sanctify a day of rest each week to resist the urge to be online, doing and completing and achieving whatever it is we do, complete and achieve online all week long.

We must pause to recognize the effect technology is having on us and counter it a little each day, each week, and even longer times of vacations (or staycations) where we truly unplug for days on end. The world will not tilt off its axis. Remind me of this too, will ya?

Let’s live intentionally and commit to daily, weekly and periodically longer unplugged moments to tune in to all that the world has to offer when we tune out offline.

Will you join me out there in that great big beautiful world?

How will you resist time famine and burnout?