One of the most inspiring books that came across my path this year is ‘How to Break Up With Your Phone’ by Catherine Price.
I am increasingly attuned to the nature of our relationships with our phones and how this affects our relationships not only with each other, but with ourselves.
Look up from this email for a moment and take a glance around you. How many people can you see staring into their phones?
It has become the new normal.
During the summer I did an exercise where I was asked to examine when I felt most stressed or anxious and when I felt most calm and at peace.
I was already aware of it in a dim sense but having to really think about it and commit pen to paper concretised things for me – my phone stresses me out – the constant check check checking for something, the quest for the hit that all too often leaves you flat and frustrated.
Here are some of things I’ve changed which have brought a greater sense of calm and acceptance:
* Switching off notifications – texts and Whatsapps are the only things I’ve set notifications for.
* Not taking my phone into my office – the temptation is too great to ‘give myself a break from work’ by checking my phone
* Batching my correspondence – for the most part I’ll do my texting at lunchtimes and after dinner.
* Deliberately not checking my phone when in ‘down time’ such as sitting in a taxi or at the doctor’s waiting area.
I took emails and social media apps off my phone about a year and a half ago and have not looked back – sure there’ve been one or two times when it would’ve been useful to have them on my phone but for 99.5% of time I don’t miss them at all.
I highly recommend this book. In fact I can see it being an extremely important reference in years to come.
Before closing this email I invite you to pause for a moment and ask yourself, ‘What can I do differently this week to bring a sense of calm and peace into my world?’