Rather than making New Year’s resolutions to eat better or to exercise more, which invariably lead to guilt, might a kinder resolution be to create a less distracted life and allow ourselves to be bored once in a while?
Eating wholesome food is one thing, but have you ever thought about the junk-media diet consumed day in day out? For some it is binged on before getting out of bed.
Create a distraction-free phone
“Look at me!” your phone says constantly.
“I’m more important than what you’re doing!” it implies with its little notification bubbles and distracting alert tones.
But have you ever thought if you really want your life constantly interrupted? Do you want to be consuming a (junk) media diet all day long? Fortunately, there is another way and it’s becoming increasingly popular.
Being truly aware of what is really going on around us (rather than always being just a little distracted) means we begin to reduce the constant, low-level stress that living a distracted life can create.
Many of us say we want more time but constantly being distracted by our phone stops us from enjoying those little moments in our day where we can really listen to what someone is saying, maybe look outside or enjoy a moment’s breath.
Life is so hectic we take risks
Something is out of balance when our lives have gotten so busy that folks take dangerous risks to stay connected. Recently I saw a woman driving (with children in the car) while texting. She swerved onto the side of the road only to pull back into traffic, narrowly missing a car.
Have you noticed how notifications dominate the day interrupting relationships, work and childhoods? Could it be time to leave the phone alone; tune in to life around you, tune into your body, tune into to being fully present in relationships and at work, and leave behind the preoccupation with what’s happening on the screen?
Do you have any time in your day where you’re just waiting and allowing a little boredom into your life? Mind wandering or boredom allows our brain to come up with creative solutions to complex issues.
Creativity very often occurs when we are pottering about doing menial tasks.
Enjoy the simple tasks in life
I love washing up, clearing snow, ironing, tidying books, or cleaning for the simple reason that it allows my body time to relax and unwind.
These tasks allow my brain time to process things, to let my mind wander, and often come up with new ideas.
Last year I read tech writer Jake Knapp’s article about how to create a “distraction-free phone.” It involves removing all apps from the front page of your phone, other than messages, podcasts or the weather, for example, if that’s what you use daily.
Knapp removed his Internet browser, his emails, turned off all notifications and deleted any apps he didn’t use, and deleted those he knew would be distracting such as “infinity” apps — those that will always have new information such as social media and news apps.I read the article and decided: “I want that.”
I’ve enjoyed a distraction-free phone for over six months now and I love it. My iPhone is now simple, effective and wonderfully uncluttered.
Don’t get me wrong, I think phones are seriously clever. The mere fact I can send a picture or video to my mother or check the snowfall via an app is brilliant. I do have my email on my phone; it’s handy, but I check it a couple of times a day (usually at lunchtime) rather than having data on all the time and letting information spill in throughout the day.
How to create a distraction free phone
Initially I found having a distraction-free phone felt quite peculiar. It may for you too. Chances are you are somewhat addicted to your phone, notifications and being constantly connected, so you might feel you are missing out. Being constantly distracted is procrastination, yet you’ll get more done by being fully present, even if that seems strange at first.
Maybe even begin just counting how many times a day you check your phone, just notice, no judgement, simply data gathering. Once you know if it’s 10 times, 50 times or 100 times then you can decide if weaning yourself off it might be something you’d like to begin. Let me encourage you to give it a go.
Chances are you’ll be more productive using your phone when you really need it rather than having all notifications on and allowing your phone to bother you constantly throughout the day. You have so many unique skills to give life and when you have a distraction-free phone you can seize the day rather than being ambushed by updates and emails.
We talk about diets at this time of year, but what about the electronic media you eat or perhaps binge on? Are you constantly snacking on whatever social media throws at you?
Initially it may feel unusual as you emerge from underneath the notification-media cloud that is our ever-connected, distracted, modern life but you won’t know until you try. It’s time to embrace “notifications off” in 2017.
How to simplify your inbox
Jake Knapp’s article: https://medium.com/time-dorks/the-distraction-free-iphone-or-why-im-happier-since-i-disabled-safari-80f8d525b0d8#.xfnjq39mj