If you are like me, it's hard for you to keep your hands off your phone when you get a message or when a new notification pops up.
I used to struggle with how easily I could slip down the social media rabbit hole. It would happen many times a day when I was just "quickly checking on something." And suddenly time went by.
It made me feel lousy that I was wasting so much time, plus I felt I didn’t have any control over myself! I was constantly late and behind schedule and that meant my days got longer as I tried to fit everything in. I was always wondering, where does all the time go?
When I tracked what was causing the distractions and how much time I was wasting online every day, I decided it was vital to set clear boundaries for myself (my mind actually), so I could keep my focus and get things done efficiently - and feel good about myself in the process.
It requires true willpower to stay away from the phone when it’s the alarm clock; social and business network; entertainment system; library; assistant; and office. And that really is what our mobile device represents to us nowadays.
It's difficult to resist because we are talking about something that is extremely addictive.
Mobile phones, email, and social media wire our brains in ways it's not accustomed to being wired.
We have started to believe that we need to be contactable and available at all times. Our brain has got so distracted and disturbed that we don’t actually know how to be present without doing anything but enjoying ourselves and paying attention to the life we are living.
I believe we are talking about a bigger problem than we yet even realize.
Many believe they are the only one suffering with certain issues, and that everyone else lives happy stress-free lives. That’s a social media bubble and it’s not true.
It's so easy to grab your phone first in the morning. Then, before even waking up properly; without setting up the day; or even saying good morning to yourself or to anyone else, your rat race has started and your day is already being driven by the demands of your phone.
It will ruin your day if you open up a message that immediately activates your stress hormones.
This could be an email that you need to react to right away; something bad you see in the news; maybe you find out there’s a huge catastrophe at work; or you discover your ex has met someone new.
Whatever it is, it can immediately cause angst. Negative thoughts and emotions then quickly run out of your control and your day starts in the wrong mood!
All the wonderful communication possibilities mobile devices offer can make you feel like you can’t lead your life, or never even have enough time to live your days, peacefully.
This can be changed. You can either give your power away or choose to respect yourself; your priorities; the connection with your loved ones; and your well-being, by setting clear boundaries.
Here’s how to do it:
Switch off all unnecessary notifications and put your phone on silent when you need to focus. Leave your phone in another room if its presence haunts you on your desk.
Create a morning routine and start your day by being present, focusing on your breathing for a while or with a short meditation.
Create clarity around your schedule and set intentions for your days.
Take breaks and recharge yourself, so your brain is not exhausted continuously. Do nothing for a couple of minutes in between all the “doing”.
The benefits are clear:
When there are no constant beeps and pop-ups, there won't be any temptation to react and respond to those notifications. You, therefore, won't be sucked into your inbox or into a social media hole for hours.
You are more mindful of what happens and how you feel, and can then react and respond to events mindfully.
You will have more energy, clarity, and time.
Switching off your notifications is a fast and straightforward way to increase your productivity and your ability to stay calm and focused: you will feel happier as you are mastering your schedule and creating a better day for yourself - which is what we all want!
How valuable would that be for you?
Leave a comment letting me know how you manage distractions or what is causing problems for you. Ask questions! What rules have you set around your phone and internet usage and how well are those rules working for you?
To help you create successful, intentional days, you can download the printable daily page of my Clarity Planner.