If you have spent anytime on Facebook, Twitter or texting you are guaranteed to have seen these characters. Chances are they usually make you smile, maybe even laugh (LOL).
I am one that has many peeps I have met online that have turned into good friends both on and offline. People I do know IRL (in real life).
However, I think it is important that we don't let the online LOL's replace the offline belly chuckles. Or let the :-) smiles replace the smile on our kids face when we do something special with them.
My only purpose of this post is to remind us all (including myself) that we must take time for the offline LOLs. We must take time for the people already IRL. We must take time to know the people online IRL if we so choose.
Below are a few tips to help make more time to live life IRL as well as a few ideas for things you can do with your IRL family and friends. These ideas don't take an entire day. Some of them don't even take an entire hour.
Often times it's the point that you did something different than the normal rat race day.
Think of some of your greatest memories as child. What were they? Some of mine are very simple. My dad passed away when I was in high school. Some of my greatest memories with him are going fishing, camping, and yes taking vacations. However, I can also remember vividly the trips to the ice cream store, feeding the ducks and taking time to eat inside McDonalds and play on the playground, not just going thru the drive-thru and eating in the car.
8 Tips to Find More IRL Time:
1. Make IRL time a priority. If you don't make it a priority it will never happen.
2. Set scheduled time aside to live IRL. Even if you have a super busy week, you can spare an hour or two for your IRL activities.
3. Add some variety to your daily schedule. If you find you go straight to the computer and get stuck there all day in your gym clothes, then make a change. Try taking a shower first thing in the morning and then going to the gym after lunch or later in the evening. I am guilty of this one and am personally going to implement this strategy this week.
4. Take time for lunch. Don't eat at your desk. Grab a friend, co-worker or just simply go by yourself. Get away from the tweet machine and eat something you haven't eaten in awhile.
5. Grab the laptop and hit Panera Bread. Grab an early morning snack, lunch or afternoon cookie. You'll be amazed how many people you'll see who are doing the same thing. The best thing is you can still get some work done but you'll be in a different environment with real people which is usually inspiring in itself.
6. Schedule a half day or whole day off. If you are working 24/7 then you MUST schedule time off. Take Friday afternoon to enjoy time IRL. Go hit the beach, shopping or anything that can get your mind off of work for awhile.
7. Set “fresh air” time daily. This includes anything that gets you outside of the walls of your office or home. Hit the beach, park or simply go on a long walk.
8. Set time aside each week to make IRL calls to your online friends. I have started doing this and it has been great for nurturing relationships for both personally and professionally.
21 Fun IRL Things You Can Do in Less Than an Hour!
1. Hit the gym first thing in the morning. This works great if you find yourself running low on energy, inspiration for content or simply stressed.
2. On the way home from the gym, running errands or after dropping kids off take some “fresh air” time.
3. Visit a nearby lake or beach. Nothing better than even 20 minutes at the beach to take the worries away.
4. Feed the ducks. Take some time for real birds, not just the Twitter bird. If you have kids take them with you or simply go by yourself for a quiet moment.
6. Hit the nail salon. Go for the pedi or the mani. Bring your headphones, not a business book. I have trained my nail salon to literally take any business book out of my hand if I so try to read it during a pedi. They now have no problem doing such.
7. Grab a fishing rod. If you are a guy or girl who loves to fish, this is a great stress reliever. My co-founder does it often. He usually comes back inspired and ready to rock.
8. Go shopping. Hit the mall or local department store. I know I don't have to explain what you do when you get there ;)
9. Pick the kids up early from summer camp and do something fun.
10. Schedule an evening of putt putt with the kiddos. Trying to hit the ball under the bridge and up the hill in one putt will definitely take your mind off of tweets, posts and influence scores.
11. Play a game of UNO with the kids.
12. Do something with a family member that they love. Color with the kids, listen to their favorite song with them. Do something that makes someone else LOL IRL that you love and it will feel good, promise.
13. Take the kids inside McDonalds to eat. This one is a hard one for me and I can't promise I'll do it often. Once a quarter is often enough for me (at most.) However, I know my kids love it and remember when I take the time to do such.
14. Grab some yogurt with a friend or colleague. An afternoon snack like yogurt can pick you right up!
15. Grab the dog and take a walk.
16. Volunteer with a local charity. They will appreciate any time you can offer from 15 minutes to a couple hours.
17. Go on a bike ride. I love to do this. I often go by myself or with one of my kids. We have great trails by our house. I feel like I get away even if it's only for 30 minutes.
18. Learn something new. Try out a kickboxing, Zumba or spin class. It will help you connect with new people who may be in the same boat as you.
19. Put on the butt pads and strap on the roller blades. Unless you are an expert roller blader there is no funnier sport in my opinion than roller blading. However, do not forget the pads. I warned you! ;)
20. Hit the beach! Enough said.
21. Go to church! This is my favorite. I love our Saturday night and Sunday afternoon service. If God is part of your life there is no better way than to spend a day reminded of what really matters in life, the eternal.