When was the last time you took on a challenge to clean up your life in an area…. exercise, diet, personal habit or time management? Without question there are always benefits from conducting these little experiments. Benefits that often lead to change, or at the very least result in greater self awareness. It’s also plain and simple just HARD to do any personal challenge - which is reason enough to do it! Any difficult experience always comes with discoveries and opportunities for improvement going forward.
Consider taking the Detox from Technology Challenge for 1 Week. Technology includes many things like your phone, computer, television, radio etc. You could also break it down further into challenging yourself to let go of social media only for the week. The parameters you set for yourself are up to you. If cold turkey is too much for you, try blackout periods every day for the longest stretches of time possible. Cast wide, or get very specific. Either way, you will feel some changes. Recording daily thoughts in a notebook is a great idea so you can reflect on your experience when you’re done. Before you decide to Pass, or be All In, have a look at some of the potential benefits of altering your current behaviour for even just 1 week.
TIME. You’ll have more! How much more time you’ll acquire depends on your current technology practices of course, but my guarantee is that you will end up with MINIMUM one extra hour daily. If you find yourself scrolling endlessly through social media, watching videos on youtube, shopping on e-commerce etc - it’s probably way more. Now that you have at least 1 extra hour every day…what choices will you make around how you use our most precious, non-renewable resource? And, when was the last time you were gifted with more time anyway? It’s the most common ‘reason’ people say they’re not getting stuff done. You’re welcome, so now go do it!
JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) instead of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Let’s face it, FOMO exists because we’ve created it. And you couldn’t possibly keep up with everything anyway because there are not enough hours. When clients tell me they spend the first hour of their day (essentially waking up and immediately reaching for their phone) ‘checking out social’, they’ve given up an opportunity to Create their day. Instead of reacting to someone else’s life on social media, take interest in your own. Every day is a new opportunity to do amazing things. Journal, set goals, prioritize tasks and other things that are important to You. Recognize the value of JOMO!
DISCIPLINE. Get focused, and decide how you will stay focused on your goal throughout this challenge. Notice what you need to set yourself up for success. Is it sharing with someone else so you have an accountability partner to keep you in check? Are you replacing your old tech habit with a different habit? Are you re-structuring your day a little? Side note - even when you are legit working at your computer and using technology, notice how many things try to pull you away from this like notifications, pop ups, ads etc. How often do you give in to these distractions? The Pomodoro work method can really help with this if you’re interested in exploring further. http://pomodorotechnique.com.
CONNECT WITH YOURSELF. Often times I hear people say they are ‘relaxing’, while they have their phone in their hand…habitual scroll, scroll, tap, a song here, podcast here, youtube etc. And time just goes by. Sorry to break it to you, but that is NOT your body relaxing, restoring, re-connecting to itself. It just isn’t, and restoring is so crucial to your creativity, stress level and general well being. Become mindful, connected, present and in a relaxed state through things like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, walking in nature - or even just sitting quietly and observing nature outdoors. Practice an art/craft or play a musical instrument. These are all things that promote relaxation and a peaceful state for your mind & body.
POSTURE. Just ask Amy Cuddy, author of Presence. Straight up (no pun intended), I wanted to list this as the number 1 reason but I wasn’t sure if you would keep reading. Posture is actually super important to how your body feels & performs. On a subway ride recently I noticed some really terrible posture habits centred around phone use. Think about how body parts like shoulders, neck, & head especially are subjected to hours of unhealthy positioning that can cause serious strain or injury over time. Olga Gabel, a yoga instructor does a great job of illustrating this in her video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd9gl_rkzE0. Learn more about Amy’s book here http://amycuddy.com. She talks about how posture affects our mindset, confidence and allows us to be or not be Present - a great read!
GREAT SLEEP HYGIENE. Whether it’s your phone, computer, videogame, or tv - none of them make up healthy sleep habits so kick them out of your bedroom! There is a ton of research out there on the negative effects of blue light on the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Try to unplug from everything at least one hour before bedtime and start powering down. An old school alarm clock is much better to wake up to in the morning and will stop you from having to touch your phone first thing to shut off your alarm.
OBSERVE WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. What will you learn about your attachment to your devices, technology, screen time? What purpose does it serve in your life? Do you feel like you have to reply, post, call, connect, send an invite etc? What happens when you don’t? Is your technology attachment just a way to avoid something else? Do your current habits support your goals? Do you need to ‘level up’ and take yourself on in some areas…or maybe not? No judgment, just observations on what you’re choosing to do every day and how it does or does not serve you. You choose, every day!
Erm Lombardi is a Goal Coach & Fitness Enthusiast who is passionate about helping people discover their Strengths, Motivators & Core Values. Formerly with lululemon, she believes that self development & self awareness are keys to creating the life you want. Connect with her on linkedin….or at firstname.lastname@example.org.