Devices are a human love affair – one that is exciting and engaging. They are the ultimate distraction, providing a source of ever-changing stimulation at our fingertips. How much of our time are we giving to the screen and what could we be experiencing if we switched off a little more regularly?
Time is relative. There are days when hours feel like minutes in the company of a close friend or engaged in a creative task. Similarly, during periods of unfulfilling work, boredom can set in and we find the minutes passing like hours. The more engaged we are with an activity the faster time passes. Televisions, computers, mobile phones, and tablets fully engage our attention allowing time to slip by unnoticed – valuable time that could be spent in a limitless number of different ways; developing our practical skills, playing music or sports, connecting with nature, sharing intimacy with others and exercising our imagination.
We can never buy more time or turn the clock back, it’s the great equalizer of humanity. Every one of us gets the same number of hours in the day. On average if we spend eight hours sleeping, eight hours working, and the remaining eight hours travelling, eating, running errands, and cycling between social media, Netflix, Google and YouTube; how much time does that leave for developing our potential for wellbeing? To experience greater wellbeing you must avoid extremes – actively limiting time on the screen and creating space for the other aspects of your life which nourish body, mind and spirit.
Take regular breaks from your love affair with devices. Space is essential to the long-term success of any relationship so see this as an important way to honour yourself. You can start with The De-Power Hour; setting aside the first and last hour of the waking day as screen-free. Beginning the day this way will prevent you from experiencing the unnecessary mental chatter stimulated by notifications and negative media. If you use this hour reflectively it will set you up for a calm and focused day. Finishing the day device-free will allow your mind to wind down and process thoughts and feelings, prevent unwanted stimulation from artificial light, and assist the body to prepare for sleep. Overnight, leaving your phone on Flight mode will prevent any blips and bleeps from disrupting your beauty sleep. Try The De-Power Hour for a week and see how you feel.
Devices are incredible tools that effortlessly capture attention. You have the opportunity to integrate them wisely when you value your time and choose when to tune in and when to switch off. There is much to be discovered beyond the screen, and it is yours to explore. What will you explore next?