Life without mobile devices: 9 ways to take back control of your lives, loves and relationships
Distraction is a killer!
Distraction kills both people and relationships. The evidence for this is increasing daily; ignore it at your own risk. The average amount of time each of us spends in the cyber world is five to six hours per day. Hey, I’m not looking at my smartphone or tablet much! So someone else must be doing my part in addition to theirs.
Texting while driving is an epidemic in our country today. One in four accidents is caused by it, resulting in 330,000 serious injuries. It’s scary, isn’t it? Studies in performance psychology consistently show that young people perform poorly on tests when their smartphone is on the desk, not on, not in use, just available and within reach, compared to when it is not.
In business, the smartphone is ubiquitous, which means that we are all less productive than we can be. Because our attention is divided between “here and now” and “there and then”, our communication and interpersonal relationships are suffering immensely. But it does not have to be like that. Here are 9 paths to greater control over your life and loves.
1. Meditate at least once a day. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, focus within and detach yourself from all the usual things. Allow your unconscious mind to innovate.
2. Be aware of the proven side effects your smartphone has on you, both physically and emotionally. Be aware of stress so you can combat it. When you find yourself frantically squeezing and scrolling, take a deep breath, count to ten, and start again.
3. Focus on your purpose by going to your devices. When you find yourself multitasking, like talking and typing, or texting and driving, just stop with the secondary task. Go back to the main job at hand. You’ll do much better and hopefully live to tell about it.
4. Make sure you listen and respond with empathy when talking on Skype or WhatsApp, etc. Focus on the tone of voice in your ear and its silences. Check your understanding of the messages they are sending you. Treat others as you want them to treat you.
5. Censor her desire to check her phone when in the company of other people. When it rings or vibrates, you may experience the fear of missing “something”. The feeling will pass, and the world will keep turning. Nothing is more important than authentic communication with the person in front of you.
6. Limit and schedule the time you use your device. It’s just a tool! A means to your ends. Every time you’re on the Internet, ask yourself, “Is this the best way to accomplish this task?” Each small step will loosen the bonds that bind your mind.
7. Share your rationale with anyone you interact with if there is a pressing personal or business need to be available. Never put your device between you and your colleagues, family or friends. Rather, say something in advance like; “There’s a chance I might have to take a call. Excuse me if that happens while we’re talking.”
8. Dare I say, enough of selfies and food photos? Consider the time and resources required to post, respond, and verify. What could you do instead? How about signing up with a client? Or call your partner or parents to let them know you’re thinking of them. Every minute you spend online is NOT spent in authentic interaction with the people in front of you.
9. Recognize that you’re addicted to your device if IT sleeps nearby. If it’s the last thing you see at night and the first thing you reach for in the morning, then you’re in trouble. It’s time to stop checking emails or social media at every opportunity. More than once a day is an expensive habit. The bedroom is no place for smartphones. Keep two things in mind: 1) We all need a calm state of mind to achieve restful sleep. 2) We are at our best and most creative immediately after sleeping. Take the time to listen to their thoughts before you dive into the cyber whirlwind.
Smartphones, the Internet and social networks are here to stay. They are fantastic modern servomechanisms. But there is also danger in them when we become their slaves. The answer to this postmodern dilemma is attention pure and simple. So, take back control and enjoy a wonderful life without mobile devices!