More often than not, it seems time flies by.  We constantly complain about lack of time, yet we spend an incredible amount of time sitting in front of computer and telephone screens.  Surfing the web, social media and online shopping have left us static and ironically more disconnected than ever before from those around us.

Many times we get home and have no idea what the members of our family are doing.  Each person goes into their room and we communicate through devices while being in the same house!

With the purpose of demonstrating that there is time for everything and that you can do much more than look at a screen and communicate through emoticons, here are a few simple tips of things you can do on your free time that don’t include a screen.  Best of all these simple things will make your life a lot more enjoyable while you build relationships and connect with others.

Take the challenge and try one or all of these tips!  Think of any other ideas?  Let us know!

11 Things You Stop Doing When You’re Stuck In Front of A Screen

1. Get to know that person you see everyday

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Do you know the name of the bus driver who gets you to work?  What about the name of the man at the newsstand who sells you your daily newspaper?  Do you know the name of the lady who cleans your office?  These are people you probably see everyday.  Do you know what their life is like?  How many children they have?  Go on!  Get to know them.  These people are part of your life.  Don’t ignore them.  Recognize their work and presence in your life.  Without them, things just wouldn’t be the same.

2. Surprise mom with flowers just because

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Mom is always there to take care of and worry about you, and she will do so whether you live under her roof or not.  She will even continue doing so when you have your own family.  Show that you love and appreciate her any day of the week, not just on special occasions.  Surprise her with flowers.

3. Offer to help those you live with

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Many times we’re so wrapped up in our own things that we have no clue what others are going through.  On your free time, take the time to ask those in your household how they’re doing or if they need help with anything.  Sometimes by simply asking how they’re doing or helping out with a chore around the house can help strengthen bonds that become weak because of lack of time or attention towards others.  Don’t let those in your household become strangers.

4. Find a special place to pray.  Talk with God.

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Look for a special and silent place that can help you experience God’s greatness.  A place where you can talk with God calmly and without interruptions.  Thank him for your life, tell him about the desires in your heart, ask him for help, listen to him.  When it comes to making time for prayer, we often complain about lack of time.  Look up from your screen into the sky and start praying.

5. Grab some paper and a pen and write someone a letter.

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Forget about sending an e-mail or typing a letter on your laptop, sharpen your pencil and get to writing.  Write a letter to a friend who has moved away or to that person you don’t see very often.

6. Accompany someone or be their comfort in their time of need.  

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Your presence in the life of someone who is sick or longing for company is very valuable.  A simple gesture like getting them a glass of water, reading them a book or letting them know what the day is like outside can make a difference in someone’s life.  Go for it!  Offer your company and help to someone who truly needs it.

7. Clean out your closet and donate things you no longer use. screen7

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We accumulate so much in our closets.  How long has it been since you’ve used that top or those pants?  Unused clothes don’t only take up space, they just sit there while someone else may need them to cover themselves from the cold.  Take from your closet the things you don’t need or use and donate them to people who need them.  Spread the love, and while you’re at it, organize your closet.

8. Turn off the computer and pick up a book.

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It seems that the only things we read are headlines and posts on social media.  Start reading a good book that will nourish your spirit.  Don’t like to read?  Start by reading short articles.  You’ll grow to love reading as you cultivate the habit.  Fill your mind with more than “Likes.”

9. Break out the agenda and start planning out your day.  

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Don’t have time for anything?  Start by planning out your day and see how everything changes.  Many times we don’t have time because we’re not aware of all of the activities and commitments we have.  Make a schedule and start by jotting down your activities.  You’ll see how you’ll suddenly have time for everything – including rest.

10. Prepare a delicious meal for your family

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Many times it’s hard to gather everyone because of work, school or other activities. Cooking a meal for those whom you love the most is something fairly simple.  You don’t need to go out to eat to gather everyone in one place or share what’s going in each other’s lives.  Plan a family dinner and surprise everyone.

11. How long has it been since you talked to a friend face-to-face?  Get together with your friends.

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Seek out that friend that you haven’t seen or talked to in a while.  Don’t forget, friendship is something you cultivate.  Call him or her, find a place to catch up and chat, ask how they’re doing.  Spending time together is always better than communicating through a screen.