When your alarm goes off, do you reach over and check your email? Are you loading your Facebook app one last time before you go to bed?
As organizers, we're expected to be connected and ready to roll 24/7. But constant connectivity is bad for us. Research shows that we develop habits that border on addiction, and constantly being "on" is a drain on creativity--not to mention the social implications of compulsively checking our phones without regard for the world around us.
Just saying, "I'm not gonna check my phone so much" won't accomplish anything. But I have found that I can unplug by setting some rules that give me a structured time to disconnect. Here are a few suggestions:
- Set start and end times. I don't check my phone until I'm on the Metro every morning. That gives me at least an hour at the beginning of the day that I can use to mentally prepare before a work day. I'm not as good at enforcing the 30 minutes before bed rule, but I'm trying.
- Honor thy lunch and dinner. I'm not allowed to be on my phone during meals. OK, so maybe you just HAVE to post a picture of that culinary wizardry, but don't go back to see who's commented on it until the meal is done. Unplug for 30-60 minutes at lunch to give your brain space to refocus for the afternoon.
- Make a few sacred spaces. You don't need to check email at the gym. Facebook can wait until you're done grocery shopping. Find some predictable spaces, and set those aside to disconnect.
It can be hard to do, but I find that creating predictable times and places to unplug helps me control the urge and actually give my brain a little room to breathe.
Got a great tactic for unplugging? Share in the comments!
Evan Sutton is Communications Director at NOI