Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Lifestyle: Freedom from Mobile

The Life-Changing Magic of Putting Your Phone Away

Feeling drained and exhausted more than you feel rested? That was me. Then I started doing one simple thing every day, which I swear has changed my life for the better.

I put my phone away.

It isn't difficult (well, maybe sometimes) and it costs nothing. I can't believe I didn't do this more before.

It's so simple but completely life-changing.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I've made a conscious effort to place my phone out of reach during meals and while "unwinding" in the evenings.

This was more than a social media cleanse for me. It was about using technology in a way that was beneficial and positive.

The impact this one decision has had on my daily life is really unbelievable, so I thought I would share what I've learned through this little social experiment.

Photo by Jag Gundu

I am able to focus better with less distractions.

It sounds pretty obvious, but once your phone is out of your hands, you realize how much scrolling you actually do. While I love social media for many reasons and do much of my work online, I find that it can easily become a habit to click and scroll on your phone, taking time away from yourself and your loved ones.

Like anything else, social media is wonderful when you use it in moderation and knowing when your use has gone from productive to mindless, is half of the battle.

Tip: when you find that you are are no longer engaging online, reading captions or slowing down to enjoy a photo, it's time to log off.

I have more energy

While we think of mindless scrolling as a relaxing pastime, I actually feel it depletes my energy a bit. As I said, I enjoy using social media and I do so actively, but once I feel I am not consuming productively, it can quickly turn into an energy suck.

Too much exposure to a screen can leave your eyes and your mind feeling tired and drained - especially if you are scrolling while watching TV. Doing two things at once, is actually not saving you time - it's making you feel more exhausted - but more on that later.

Give your eyes and your mind a break - you will feel the difference.

I actually relax during downtime

I used to think I was too busy to truly relax and that I had too many things to do. It turns out, the reason I was feeling so tired and overworked was because I wasn't turning it off, even after I had "finished for the day."

Putting my phone away in the evenings has been key to me feeling like I have a life other than wearing my multiple job hats. In addition to my traditional work, I'm thinking about video editing, blog writing, photography and pitching - needless to say, there is always something to do all day long and into the evenings. I find it can be a struggle to put it aside but I've learned that having a cut-off time for myself really helps.

There will always be something to do, but it's important to be protective of what you need to recharge and feel good.

It's not that we don't have enough time, it's that we don't have clear priorities. Making myself and my personal downtime a priority has made an incredible difference in how I feel.

Multitasking is overrated 

We come from a generation that once glamorized multi-tasking. In some cases, it's a great skill - like when you can prep lunch while you have dinner bubbling on the stove.

At other times, it does more harm than good. It's another distraction and keeps you from focusing on one task at a time, making you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Even something as simple as checking your twitter feed while watching TV can leave you feeling like you didn't have any downtime at all.

Do one thing at at time. You will be surprised that you feel like you have more hours in the day. Slowing your mind down a little, allows you to truly rejuvenate in the down time you do have.

I feel more content with the time I have to myself. 

After putting my phone away, I notice I am more present during conversations, I have time for other things I enjoy like reading and I actually begin to recharge.

These days when 10:00 pm rolls around, I'm ok with calling it a night and I feel pretty satisfied with "what I did that evening".

Without the distraction of my phone in my hand, I feel like I've spent quality time with loved ones and that I'm more in the moment. I feel like I'm increasing my attention span and making time to connect with myself by disconnecting a little from the outside world.

When I watch a Netflix documentary or a movie, I enjoy it so much more (probably because I actually pay attention!) and my hubby and I feel as though we actually hung out.

Photo by Banga Studios

Hang up to Hang Out

It's crazy how something that is supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient can actually be detrimental if we don't use it properly.

Putting away our phones when we are with family, friends or even just doing something that matters to us, is a sign of respect - towards others and ourselves. It's also respecting w
hat you need in order to perform at your best level.

Decide what works for you, what you're ok with and then set your own limits. I find taking a picture in the moment is fine, but scrolling/texting while I am supposed to be doing something else is too much.

While I haven't sworn off social media, apps, online reading and attending to my email inbox in the evenings, I have purposefully readjusted my priorities. It's a work in progress but one that I think can be so beneficial to so many of us.

Do you find you spend a lot of time scrolling on your phone while you're relaxing in the evenings?

Do you have any tricks to make sure you're not distracted while doing other things that are important to you?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Leave me a comment below or find me on Instagram @angeliesood


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