Dreaming of a more intuitive, grounded life? Being constantly connected has stressed me out many times.
I usually went all-in to fix that. I deleted my Instagram account, and at one point actually deleted pretty much all apps on my phone...
Later bouncing back full force - I became more connected than before.
Over the years (well, months actually!), I have found balance. A mix of small habits and online tools that help tremendously.
Here are seven small, highly doable actions you can start today.
#1: Remove all notifications - from everywhere.
When we allow notifications, we allow for others to decide over our time. We don't have to instantly react when we get a whatsapp message, a new mail or hear the 'ding' of someone liking our Facebook post.
It is a bad habit that quickly erodes our attention span and ability to focus and concentrate deeply. Removing notifications gives us freedom back. Don't let other people's agenda run your day.
#2: Remove all social media from your phone.
While we're at it; why not remove all social media from the phone. Having access to social media channels is a lovely use for smart phones, but that doesn't mean it has to be.
Decide where you accept the noise and news of the world to disrupt you. Some thing can wait, and it could wait until you get to a computer.
#3: Put the phone elsewhere.
Make it a point to put your phone on the other side of the room. Having removed all notifications, you can still keep the sound on and hear if someone call you or sends a text (if this is important to you).
This might be uncomfortable, but it is quite easy to get used to. It also pulls back focus and attention to what is right in front of you, whether it be focused work or connecting with someone off-line.
#4: Download RescueTime and be astonished.
RescueTime changed everything for me. It tracks your activities online (computer and phone) and then presents that information.I downloaded the app a few years ago, got a report after two weeks and was deeply shocked.
I always considered myself a productive person. But time adds upp. Minutes here and there become hours and hours.
The first step to any change is awareness. I can almost guarantee you will get a wake-up call from this tool. It's free for two weeks, but very much worth the investment!
#5: Add the ending "-meditation" to every activity.
Waiting for the bus? Consider it "waiting for the bus-meditating". Waiting in line at the supermarket? No no, you're "waiting in line-meditating" :)
This trick has helped me get centered. I make it a point to stay in the moment (instead of pulling up my phone). Look at the world around me, make eye contact with people.
My best ideas land when I just AM.
You might even find yourself disturbed by seeing how many stare into their phone. Eye contact has become a rarity.
#6: Buy a regular alarm clock.
Each morning, avoid your phone, email and other addictive tech urges as long as you possibly can. Push the moment you go online as far back as you can.
There is power in space and tranquility before connecting with the world.
#7: Download Freedom or StayFocusd.
You might get surprised how many times you surf to a 'distracting' page. These tools help you set time limits to specific pages that you know you are prone to waste time on. And why deplete willpower when there are awesome tools to help you :)