Did you know we check our smartphones an average of 80 times a day?
If you count 16 waking hours, that makes it 5 times per hour. Every 12 minutes (for the record, a Pomodoro focused time-slot is 25 minutes).
Being hyper-connected is a life fact for many of us. But what happens when WiFi becomes a scarce resource?
Last month, I learned to become a mindful smartphone user
I was in Costa Rica working for my wellness travel business (and revisiting work-life alignment by taking a couple of days off!)
Checking my phone had to be a conscious choice, deciding if it had to be a priority over, say, enjoying a beautiful landscape, taking a coffee tour, spending time at the beach, or doing yoga.
Oh yes, work wasn’t far away: I was waiting for one important email for my business, one that could simply mean moving forward or pivoting the whole thing.
Just a few months ago, such a situation would have sent my nervous system straight to the red zone.
But not that time. I loved having a break from the digital circus: constant interruptions, notifications, emails and so on.
Guess what? As I learned to become a mindful smartphone user, I discovered the joy of missing out.
How intentional are you?
Your phone rings, you pick up the call, that’s intentional.
You check an email and end up watching a YouTube video, that’s BS.
Out of all the times where you pick up the phone, how many bring real outcome? How much of it is noise?
Checking social media. Getting lost in the web of things, because yes, it’s addictive. And in the meantime, time flies and maybe you missed the opportunity to check in with that friend or family member. To read about how you can future-proof your leadership. To take a walk, have a mini nap or cook a simple dinner.
The first step to become a mindful smartphone user is to decide if you’re doing emails or social media or news or cat videos. One thing at a time.
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A great way to build a new relationship with your phone is to decide in advance how long you want to engage with your emails, phone, social media.
Once you get on the path to become a mindful smartphone user, you see how much time is spent doing nothing more than watching what others do.
What is the priority over those other “real” things you have to do in your day? Be committed to your intention as it’s a way to achieve goals. And when your time is up, wait until the next session (yes, that’s the tricky part…)
To become a mindful smartphone user, reflect
A good way to break your cellphone addiction is to ask yourself:
What is it you would NOT check if you didn’t have time?
Try to notice what you check every so often, what can wait, what is no real value-add.
Result? You get super focused: you go straight to the point, you like, you reply, you post. Yes, you get a download of people’s lives in one go instead of a continuous stream.
And no, you don’t really miss anything.
Smartphones and positive connections
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with your tribe and I like it for that. But it means you are always on. But at times, it can affect your relationships or even yourself.
A face to face conversation can only happen if two people meet in a place at a certain time. With social media, those limits get blurred and you can easily interrupt or be interrupted.
Think about it: your partner is reading a book. Would you tap their shoulder and show them a selfie asking: do you like this?
Not really, right?
If you tuly value the quality of your relationships, become a mindful smartphone user: open space when it’s the right time. Unless it’s a life emergency, you can get back to anyone later. You can reply the next day. You can ask when is the right time to discuss over the phone (and see if you get a yes for that)
To become a mindful smartphone user brings many benefits. But only you can decide to observe your level of engagement with technology. Only you can work with pace or work with patience and intuitively feel what works for you.
Yet, if you’re ready for a change and, say, set a certain amount of screen time every day, this is what could happen next….
-You slow down.
-You’re present with people around you (like, you have real conversations)
-You remember “useful” things in advance, such as not having a gift yet for the birthday party this week-end
-You secretly enjoy being out of reach because when you switch on connection, you get tons of messages from friends and family!
And no, you don’t miss the email you’ve been waiting for. In my case, something that took 8 months in the making 😉
What is your relationship with your phone? Tell us in the comments!