Today, I'm going to do something a little bit different...
Over time, my blog has continued to evolve and change in ways that I consider to be a very natural progression. One thing that has remained constant here has been my goal that this blog provides lots of inspiration to my readers. Until this point, that inspiration has mostly come in a physical form, with my DIY projects, photography, design, recipes, etc. Lately though, I have been thinking that I may have a little more to offer. As my blog has grown, I have had the opportunity to learn new things and to find new ways to challenge myself. I would like to start taking some time to share these little pearls of wisdom in hopes that it will provide a brand new source of inspiration for you. I hope that you'll find these kinds of posts beneficial and that they will blend seamlessly with the rest of my content. So, here we go...
Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed by technology and the seeming need to keep up and stay connected? I do, all the time. The other day on my bus ride to work, I noticed that every single person sitting around me was looking at their cell phone. I've noticed the overuse of smart phones before, but at that moment I literally felt suffocated by it. It got me thinking about why, we as a society, are so connected to our phones, and if there will ever be a time in the future when we are less attached.
One thing that really scares me about this "smart phone epidemic", is how often cell phones are used as a distraction from an uncomfortable situation. Do you ever find yourself taking out your phone while you're sitting on the train so you don't have to make eye contact with the people sitting around you? Or, maybe you've been by yourself waiting to meet a friend who has yet to arrive, so you pull out your phone to pass the time. I think that uncomfortable situations are a natural part of life, and to rely on a smart phone to put yourself at ease, is a terrible habit to get sucked into.
Not only is the overuse of cell phones a bad habit; I find that most of the time it just adds unnecessary stress. There's more worry about what we're going to miss if we don't check our emails, texts, and various social media updates, and less worry about what we're missing in real life while we're on our phones. I feel like this is especially true for bloggers; we feel like we need to stay connected with our readers and with each other at all times. When we arrive to work, most of us will find ourselves in front of a computer screen. I think that taking advantage of the time when we can step away from the screen can only benefit our mental health, and open our minds to more creative thought. If you find yourself reaching for your phone too often, consider these ways to help yourself disconnect.
Imagine all the reading you could get done if instead of reaching for your phone, you reached for a book! I like to carry a book in my purse so that I can get some reading in whenever I have time. A good read is such a relaxing way to end the day, because it allows you to transition right out of work mode and into home mode.
Whatever you do, don't check your emails first thing in the morning or right before bed. Starting and ending your day with a clear mind can give you a fresh perspective on a new day. Maybe a dream you had the night before will inspire a new creative idea.
This is an easy one. Try leaving your phone in the other room when you go to work on a project, or cook dinner, or hang out with your significant other or roommate. This is the old "out of sight out of mind" trick, but it works! You'll be able to focus on the task at hand, or have better conversation without the phone being a distraction.
I find that I do my best writing during my commute to work in the morning. My head isn't clouded by the events of the day, so I can think more clearly. While it's sometimes convenient to store notes in my phone, I find that my words flow better when I put pen to paper, and you might discover that the same is true for you. One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to actually do this more. If you kickstart your day by getting your creative juices flowing instead of browsing the internet, I bet you'll be much more productive.
This is a big one. When you're scrolling through your phone, take a second to think about why you're using it. A smart phone can be super resourceful when you need to look up directions, check the bus schedule, or send a message, but if you find yourself perusing without a purpose, try putting it away. Life is too short to waste your own time, so think about all the other things you could be doing that don't involve scrolling through your phone. Like they say on Sesame Street, "you've got to put down the ducky if you want to play the saxophone"!
When you're feeling overwhelmed by technology, what tricks do you use to disconnect? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!