Earlier this year I choose SIMPLE as my word for 2014. Another good word is “SIMPLIFY” because that’s really what I am trying to do.
You can read the original post here. It was about going back to the days when life was simpler. A life that had a slower pace, less cell phone and emails. Since we are a third into the year I decided to do an update.
I have yet to move into a cave and go off the grid (although there are many days when that sounds lovely) but I have succeeded in setting stricter boundaries when it comes to my iPhone, email and social media.
I often leave my phone at home while I go on a hike or walk. I also don’t answer my phone while in the grocery store or while talking to someone. Those are practices and etiquette rules I have always used.
However, I got into the bad habit of checking emails and Facebook first thing in the morning (and we all know we tend to get stuck on there and then a half hour will pass by) and then almost obsessively throughout the day. I realized I spent way too much time on my phone. Hence, the longing for the good ol’ days before smart phones, emails and the internet.
What changed? I implemented 3 changes.
1. I don’t check my phone in the morning. There are times when I know I’m expecting an email but once I have checked that email my phone is off limits again. I ignore it. It took some discipline at first but now I can easily ignore the phone knowing I have notifications, texts and emails. I enjoy my mornings reading, writing and exercising instead of being sucked into my phone.
We somehow survived before smart phones. We can definitely survive an hour or two without it. Ignore the phone and go exercise instead. Read. Play with your kids. Engage in human conversations. Set phone use boundaries.
2. I unsubscribed to all emails that I would immediately delete. Instead of being lazy and just delete the email I took the thirty seconds it took to unsubscribe. I don’t have kids but somewhere along the way I signed up for Toys r’ Us. I had too many of those kind of emails.
What emails do you receive that you no longer even open? Reduce your inbox by unsubscribing and not getting those emails in the first place.
3. I set time limits for social media when I’m on a computer. Now this one is hard when it comes to your smart phone because it’s so easy to check. When I’m trying to focus on something I turn my phone to Airplane mode.
The Airplane mode is a great way to block emails, text, phone calls and not have access to social media. The great thing about Airplane mode is that you still have access to the camera, calendar and notes.
For now that’s all I have changed and my life already feels so much simpler. I’m being more productive too. Next I’m working on becoming a ‘zero inbox’ person, implementing computer free days and planning for a digital detox to reduce the digital noise and simplify my life even more.
What tips do you use (or think of trying) for reducing digital noise in your life?