The other day, I read an article about disconnecting from you phone and allowing yourself to actually be bored. It got me thinking about the last time I just sat, did nothing, and spaced out. I honestly can't recall! We live in a world where constant stimulation is the norm and boredom is no longer necessary. The article mentioned a recent study that found mobile consumers spend an average of 2 hours and 57 minutes each day on mobile devices. That's roughly 21 hours a week (almost an entire day)! That statistic kind of made my stomach turn. Mostly because I know I'm completely guilty of checking my phone like a trillion times a day (wondering how often you really do glance at your iPhone or iPad? Download this app to get the ugly truth.)
My new years resolution is to be more present. Really and truly focus on being in the moment. Realizing how hard that is to do when I live my life with my phone in my hand, I've decided it's time to log off, unplug, and disconnect. A digital cleanse! What exactly does that mean? Below are four ways I am learning to kick my technology dependency.
1. Banish technology from your morning routine.
Real talk. My morning routine consists of rolling over in bed, turning off the alarm blasting from my phone, and then cuddling the darn thing for 10 to 15 minutes checking email, looking at Instagram, and scrolling through Facebook. I don't even bother giving my husband so much as a 'good morning'. I'm just locked in right away. Ew.
So first thing's first. I busted out an old school alarm clock. You know, like a real clock. Remember those things? And I banished phones from the bedroom. Now when my alarm goes off, I wake up and just kind of lie there. It's really nice to ease in to a wakeful state without bombarding myself with information overload before I've had my first cup of coffee.
Next, I created a routine that is centered around having a peaceful and fulfilling morning. To mean that means making coffee, eating a little breakfast, putting on a record and dancing around while I get ready for work. It's a silly little routine but it's my time and I don't let anything else distract me. Our days are typically filled to the brim with answering calls, responding to emails, checking Facebook messages, and avoiding voicemails. Let your morning be all about you.
2. Enforce a digital blackout.
Between the hours of 7pm and 10pm all electronics are banned in our home. No phones, no tv. Definitely no iPads and certainly no laptops. And ESPECIALLY no phones at the dinner table.
Pick a time of the day to go off grid. Try it on your next lunch hour. Turn on your email auto-reply. Only answer calls or texts if they are an emergency. Like, a for real emergency. You'll be surprised to learn that the world won't in fact end if you don't respond immediately!
3. Forget about social media and try socializing.
Are you having coffee with a girlfriend? Grabbing drinks with co-workers? Date night with your boo? Sitting around the dinner table with the whole family? Put your damn phone away and don't take it out to look at it a single time. Period.
4. Turn that phone off at bedtime.
Cuddle up in your pjs and read a book. Drink some tea and pet your cat. Try journaling. Tell your partner a bedtime story, just talk about how your respective days went, or just cuddle!