I was starting to get the feeling that my phone had become permanently attached to my hand.
So, I decided to start day-long tech breaks once a week.
That sounds crazy, right?
For one solid day per week, Saturday or Sunday, I do not touch a phone, computer or iPad.
It would be an understatement to say that they are a recharging experience.
My tech-free days start without the obligatory phone grab to check for important messages … and the time! It was a new experience to begin my day without knowing what time it was.
And you know what? I woke up earlier than I ever have and was much more productive earlier on. I think I tell myself that I’m allowed to sleep in on the weekends, so I naturally do that. Without the consciousness of time I was able to let my body do what it wants.
With small beings in your life you have an obligation to take care of their basic needs on their schedule. Fair enough. But how about giving your family a morning where you didn’t check the time? You let the routine unfold without worrying about what is happening when.
One of the biggest tricks I learned to prevent giving into the temptation to check the time is to set a timer. I can feel confident, for example, that I will take the soup off the stove in a timely manner. It has been liberating, rather than constantly watching the clock to see what time it is.
Not responding to alerts on my phone every two seconds saved me immense amounts of energy. It’s rather amazing how much of my vitality is taken up by checking to see who called, texted, or emailed. Without that distraction my mind feels free to do the real-life things that I would otherwise miss.
One of the other features of these tech-free days was to make no or minimal plans. I got more writing and chores done than any other days, while also finding time to draw and lie in my hammock.
When I did have to coordinate plans I had to plan ahead and be really clear that I was not going to be checking my phone. To my astonishment it all worked out. I or the other person were late a few times, but to cope with the waiting period I brought a book or work to do.
When we all showed up the quality of engagement during these visits was amazing. I was engaged with the humans in front of me and did not worry about what was pinging on my devices. I changed my behavior so that I grew closer to friends and deepened connections.
My goal is to keep this up, but with the fullness of the school year it might not be possible to take a full day each week. Existing without technology has been such a positive experience that I think I'll certainly take at least an afternoon or a day twice a month!
What if you took a day with your small being and gave this type of focused attention? Once a week, for just a couple of hours. I bet you would see changes in behavior that would surprise and delight you!
Insight Into Action!
Parents and Teachers: What would change in your life and with your relationships if you put your phone away for a day? (Click to Tweet) Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Feedback? Thoughts? Comments? Email me at: Info@BehaviorAndBeyond.net
With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information,then please forward this blog.
For more helpful behavior information delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up below.