I’ve started a new habit that has improved my life greatly. I’m feeling calmer, more in control of my mind and body, able to think clearer, and more sure of myself. I don’t worry as much, and I don’t worry about the effects of what I’m doing. I can keep doing this and the world will go on. Answers can wait. Conversations and messages too. I think what I’m doing will inspire others and perhaps already has. When I told one friend about it, his eyes lit up and he told me, “That’s a great idea”.
What is it? Well, I’m doing tech breaks 4 times a week. On three weekdays I go without using tech for the first 2 hours of the day and on one weekend day I go for 4 hours without using tech. A couple of the most striking benefits is that I don’t feel like I need to get on my phone or computer as much for the rest of the day and when I do use devices, I am more intentional and regulated with my use. I’ll stick to the reason I got on my device and my to-do list way better than if I wake up and go straight to checking email, the windows I left open, random scrolling, or in search of my dopamine hits via notifications.
The two hours on weekdays goes by pretty quickly. I’m finding myself picking up the house, writing music, practicing singing, playing piano songs, getting ready for the day(sometimes I wait awhile), going on walks, cooking breakfast(sometimes I wait awhile to do that too), or reading a book. At first, I sometimes feel like it’s going to be a long two hours but sometimes I’ll end up going even longer. When I do check my phone, sometimes I have hardly any messages and others times I have a few which could have easily waited those couple hours to be replied to. Keeping in mind that the next day I can go straight to my devices is helpful. I also give myself the freedom to switch the days I do it around or make exceptions if I have a monthly meeting.
Going the 4 hours on a weekend day is a bit more challenging. I find myself wanting to look up answers to questions and things to do more often especially when not at home. I’ll have a bit of anxiety going that long I noticed. I am aware and honest with myself about the fact that I definitely have phone and computer addiction. So I’m working on it. I know it’s unhealthy. My mind craving those little bits of excitement like a slot machine, keeping my body in positions that cause tightness and discomfort that lead to pain, and feeling like the world will not be able to go on if I don’t reply to someone right away.
This morning I picked up, had a cup of tea and read a story from the big book, went on a walk, cooked breakfast, sang a little, then ate and typed this. It going to be a great day. I’m using technology to improve my life and it’s not using me.