Beyond a shadow of doubt, mobile devices are here to stay and further develop in its engagement of man. Ironically, what was designed to increase convenience made our lives much more complex than it already was. In order to be in control of this revolution – instead of being controlled by it – here are some easily implementable actions you can consider adopting:
1) Designate out of sight hours
Although the expression ‘out of sight, out of mind’ might be a bit of a stretch here, we can start off with putting away our smart gadgets for an hour or two each day. Put it in places where it will be inconvenient to reach so that physical resistance will overpower temptations to check in. Commit to being engaged in other activities during these designated hours, be it learning a new skill, exercising, or spending quality time with your loved ones, to renew the appreciation of a no-distraction enjoyment.
2) Take long leisurely walks
Hopefully, the posture required to facilitate ease of walking will be a natural deterrent to looking at your phone. Take this time to literally widen your view beyond the screen. Interact with your environment, be it getting inspired by something you have observed or connecting with a person face-to-face. The motion that you fall into in long walks also provides the momentum and space for quality thinking and reflections.
3) Intervals of disconnect
Sometimes, what we need to get through a writer’s block, a programming bug, or anything that requires a breakthrough is to turn off the screen, and simply think. Not only do these pockets of distraction-free solitudes enhance our performance, it can also mitigate the strain on our eyes by reducing constant exposure to the screen’s light.
4) Putting away mobile devices an hour before sleep time
In Part 1, we talked about the harmful effects of blue light emitted from our mobile devices that affects the quality of our sleep and the tendency for us to procrastinate sleep time when we are on our devices. So instead of bringing our devices into bed as we wind down for the day, why not purposefully put them out of sight an hour before bed and substitute them with hard copy materials? Pick up a good read, write down and prioritise tasks for the next day, or write down your reflections on the day gone by. These serve to cultivate good habits towards a better managed and balanced lifestyle.
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We can continue enjoying the entertainment and convenience our mobile devices bring in a more efficient manner, where attention is given purposefully, instead of an unrestrained and impulsive approach which drains our energy and productivity. While we are embracing clean diets to detoxify our bodies, we can also detoxify psychologically by creating ourselves a non-wired environment every once in awhile. Afterall, whatever has been uploaded into the cloud has a level of permanence and retrievability that eludes our physical and psychological limits; while seconds of our lives once gone, can never be tick-tocked back.
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