Taking a technology break

I know I have an addiction to technology – I can’t stop peaking at my phone as I work. I stand in queues in shops and click for more emails and look at FaceBook.

This is nothing new and it is nearly 6 years since I wrote this article – Attention and Focus – Oh Look Shiny!

I’m doing better. I’ve taken all notifications off my phone, so I must make a conscious effort to click. I’m being more mindful – I have no need to read emails so frequently, and I’m moving all newsletters to a different email account so I will only get to see them on my home PC.

I’m unsubscribing from FaceBook groups and I’ve cancelled my Times subscription, I get enough of the news via 30 minutes listening to Radio 4 in the morning.

We know that online stuff is designed to suck us in, to give us the dopamine hit.  There’s a great article about it here.

The more we resist the temptation to look, and recognise how we feel afterwards, the easier it will be to break our addiction.

But its not just the addiction, it is also how it interferes with our work. When we are working, we should focus on the task, not break off to watch a video, check Twitter, read through FaceBook posts …

The more I can do a task, uninterrupted the quicker I get the job done. Another great article I found was on the need for an Attention Diet.

Mark Manson has some great tips, and I’ve been following many. I tend to read longer, more nuanced articles rather than the clickbait stuff in my FaceBook feed.

We should take off apps from our phone as many we never use, and most would be fine to access from our computer rather than our phone.

We should only check emails a couple of times a day and set a time limit for using social media. So, try and just go on a couple of times a day rather than continual.

Have you got this already?

You may be much better than me, and I think one reason I have spent a lot of time on social media is that I work alone, so 10 minutes on FaceBook is my equivalent of a chat over coffee with work colleagues. I’d feel better by having a 10-minute walk.  I live on the 3rd floor so I could walk downstairs and up again, maybe I should see if that works?

There is lots of advice via Marks article including switching off notifications, turning off the phone ringer and buzzer so it I worth reading his article.

I’m going cold turkey!

Going on my Vision Quest, without access to technology for 10 days is going to be a challenge but going into the countryside where there isn’t a signal for phone and internet makes it easier. As I arrive, I’ll switch my phone off and put it in the boot of my car till the end. Let’s see how I use technology when I get back?

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