Have you noticed that we humans, as a whole, love to be distracted?
Social media, multitasking, Netflix & TV, talking on the phone, reading books, shuffling around, fidgeting, cleaning or tidying up, checking (and double-checking) tasks, finding new tasks to keep busy with.
And the list goes on...
As a society, our attention spans are getting shorter, our memory is becoming less reliable, and this is affecting our relationships with one another.
When was the last time you hosted a dinner party with a strict 'No Phones" rule? Or the last time you took a week-long (or longer) break from social media?
Have you fallen into the trap of answering calls or texts while your driving?
How about incessant scrolling on Instagram while you're waiting for the bus.
How about crossing the street while looking at your phone only to be nearly run-over by a car?
Or multitasking answering emails while cooking or talking with loved ones?
Yep, me too. All of it. Guilty.
How do we get back to being rather than doing.
It's easier said than done, seeing as we live in a technological world. Though we are basically forced to embrace it, there are ways to reduce the techno-traps and focus on your mind's health.
- Turn your phone OFF or to airplane mode when you sleep.
- Put your phone away when your walking around outside - try looking up, y'never know what could be up there!
- Download the Chrome extension News Feed Eradicator to keep you from endless Facebook scrolls. You won't regret this one.
- Set a time limit on social media (set a literal timer for these, and pick one or two times a day to check. That's it!) - **If you can, try going the whole day without checking any of your social media platforms.
- Absolutely NO visual entertainment... at least for the rest of this detox challenge - no Netflix, Crave, Primevideo, Youtube videos, streamed shows/movies, cute cat videos or anything of a sort.
- Do only one thing at a time. Focus on the task at hand rather than diverting your attention. Try the app called Forest: Stay Focused - this will keep you from opening apps on your phone for a set period of time.
- Practice listening - when you ask how someone's day is going, actually listen! Try to repeat back to them something you heard them say. This shows you're fully attentive and not distracted.
If you work at a computer desk all day, or your job is 100% online:
Try taking a walk and stretching every hour. Switch up your stance frequently (standing desks are great).
You can set an hourly timer; give yourself 2-5 minutes (or more, depending on your work situation allowance) and keep your phone somewhere out of site during that break. Leave all notifications and messages until later.
Another method which I've tried and loved is the Pomodoro Technique. The method is simple and effective. It goes a little something like this:
Set a timer for 25-minutes and work, uninterrupted.
Take a short 5-minute break.
Every 4 Pomodoros (25-minute works session), take a longer break (20-minutes).
Click here to learn more about this awesome technique.