Goodnight Cellphone

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It’s been a little while since I decided to turn off email notifications on my phone. I expected it would be hard to adjust to after so many years of using them, but I loved it right away.

In fact, I loved it so much that I’ve started to rethink my phone use in general.

I was a late adopter of both cellphones and smartphones. I have nothing against them, in fact, I’d be lost without my phone these days, but I was reluctant to be reachable by anyone at any time.

It got to the point where I was gritting my teeth, or experiencing some other form of displeasure every time that little bell would chime. Then I would pick up my phone, read my email, and most of the time, respond right away. It could really interrupt the flow of my day sometimes.

I guess I just forgot that I had a choice about all that.

Lately, the freedom from email notifications hasn’t been enough for me. I want my phone to be available when I need it, when I want to connect with people near and far, and then I want to ignore it the rest of the time. I don’t want to be one of the people in these photos.*

I’ve been gradually using my phone less and less.

First, I put it on silent earlier in the evening and turned the sound on later in the morning. Then, I started turning it off earlier. I’m now at the point where I turn it off around 8:00 pm, and put it in another room.

For all intents and purposes, my phone has been banned from my bedroom.

I can’t even describe how awesome that has been for me. I feel like I have so much more time in the morning, and I’m much more relaxed and focused in the evening.

Sure, if there’s an emergency I’m unreachable (no landline). I’ve realized over the years that there’s probably nothing I could do anyway. I might as well get some bad news at 8 am instead of midnight.

This represents my phone's feelings about having to sleep so much. Sorry buddy, it's for my own good.
This represents my phone’s feelings about having to sleep so much. Sorry buddy, it’s for my own good.

I’m not alone, unplugging from technology regularly is becoming quite trendy.

Can you do it? What’s stopping you?


*I’m not trying to judge their choices, mind you. I have just found that the more I use my phone, especially when I’m around other people, the more unhappy and disconnected I feel.

 

From Fantasy to Reality

Have you tried doing any monthly resolutions yet? I love playing with new things every month!

I know that it’s still August (happily, I am not ready for fall!), but this morning I came up with my September resolution: turning on my computer 30 minutes later in the morning. I plan to ease that up to an hour, so no computer time before 8:00 am.

What will I do with all that time?

Seems like a 10K isn’t going to run itself, so 2-3 mornings I’ll be out running (with properly paced breath, even).

Extra meditation and yoga time! I’ve really, really slacked off on my morning yoga practice on non-run days.

In my fantasy life, I do my quick meditation check-in right away, then I follow that up with a run or yoga practice, and end with a longer meditation. I keep making excuses for why I can’t have that now, why it has to wait for some magical, perfect future. Excuses about not having time. Somewhere along the line, I decided that reading my favorite blogs took precedence over yoga in my precious early morning hours.

Again, this blog is about adventure! One of the reasons I stress that so often is that it gives me framework for looking at the preceding paragraph in a self-loving, nonjudgmental way.

I let myself have different priorities up until now (let’s get real, after writing all this I am totally going to start early), and that’s fine! Today is a new opportunity, tomorrow is a new opportunity, I will have another chance to live this dream until the day I die.

It can seem a little intimidating to cut back on technology at first. When I disabled my phone’s email notifications I practically broke out in hives; yet I haven’t missed any important emails, or failed to get back to clients and readers in a timely fashion.

Choose yourself, choose adventure, choose today!

Make time for your dreams
Make time for your dreams

*This post was originally published with a different title. A terrible title. Possibly my worst ever.