So I talked about how technology shaped my efficiency, I know you might have different ideas on how the nasty little devices conquer our world and how invasive they have become at the dinner tables all around the world. It all boils down to self-control. And yes, it can be done.
Set the rules and not break them
If you don’t want “Ding Ding” to disturb your dinner at home, hide your phone in the bedroom while you enjoy an hour-long dinner with your loved ones. If you are outside, turned the phone into silent mode, put it in your bag, leave the bag at the bottom of your chair. This way even if you are tempted to take a peek, you’ll have to bend down and reached for your bag, not a graceful thing to do during dinner. Tsk, tsk….
Out of sight, out of mind
No, you do not have to bring your mobile phone with you wherever you go. It’s so happens that I will dedicate some time per day to be away from my phone. For example, going for a half an hour walk in the nearby park? I’ll leave my phone at home. Going to the nearby pool for an hour swim? I’ll leave my phone at home. This will give your mind, your thumbs and your eyes the much-needed rest.
Fly more often
When I was a workaholic, I used to relish to go on a business trip. Not that business trip is a great excuse to be away from your boss for a few days but because I get to switch off with a reasonable excuse on flights. Not able to use my mobile phone or my iPad during take offs and landing, plus to purchase any on demand flight internet is way too expensive for any company to agree to pay for, I get to either catch up on the latest inflight movies or sleep. Yes, I can sleep on flights! I know lucky me, right? Alternatively, watching movies at a cinema or a play at the theater will have the same effect, I’m sure you are not one of those people who uses their mobile in the middle of Phantom of the Opera.
Use the “Do Not Disturb” function
I’m not sure about other phone models but iPhone have a function that allows you to manually “switch” off all the notifications but allow certain people to be able to reach you through phone calls for emergency purposes. Can’t you use vibrate mode? Sure, you can but if you are a light sleeper, I think even a slight movement of your phone is going to wake you. Be creative too. You don’t have to only use it when you sleep, sometimes I used it when I have to rush a deadline or when I have a writer’s block I need to plunge.
Acknowledging that you are not indispensable
No, the world does not end if you don’t answer your boss’s text within 5 minutes. Maybe your phone will blow up on its own but I’m definitely sure that the world does not end. The person who is covering your duties does not have to call you every hour or even everyday. 90% is still 90% despite you refreshing the webpage every second, it will not jump to 95% out of the sudden. Same goes for writers, if you have 20 followers, any refresh button you click for the past hour will not bring a sudden surge of 100 followers unless you post your naked photo an hour ago.
Snap out of it
If your child brings her drawing to you, please do not take a cursory glance, nod and mumble something intelligibly while furiously typing an email to your team. Put down your phone, your iPad and close the lid of your laptop, cherish the time with your loved ones.
Take a well deserved break
As my previous article, choose a destination that allows you to be totally unplugged at least once a year. This will also effectively tear the computer games away from your kids or the Twitter away from your teens. Go on a hike, a nature exploration in the jungle or even snorkeling / diving. Even the techie in you needs to recharge every now and then.
Let it go
And if the whole company can’t decide which color to dress the model in before the big runaway show, causing critics to write horribly about your brand this leading major shareholders to pull out and stocks to come crashing down, and it’s your fault for not answering your email in time. Then it’s either you are paid millions, the company is yours or your company is ridiculously depending on you. If it’s the last one, my suggestion to you is to run. Run as far as possible. Unpaid and makes all major decisions alone? Run.
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