What was the first thing you did this morning?
My guess is that you checked your phone. I remember the days of checking my phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It took a heart attack at 31 years old, followed by years of soul-searching, for me to realize that life didn't have to be that way.
In an age of hyper connectivity, workaholism, and optimizing every moment, we're on a path to burnout. Even our leisure pursuits have become something to plan and manage so that we can make the most of every moment.
When watching The Social Dilemma over the weekend, a few things became abundantly clear that are concerning. It's not just adults, kids are also constantly on their devices. And, it's not necessarily by choice. We've become addicted – social media, email, and apps are designed to get us to spend more time on our devices.
What's the cost?
Rates of depression and anxiety, and feelings of loneliness are soaring. Misinformation and fake news spread six times faster than truth. We are more divided than ever.
What can you do to control your screen time?
Some tips provided by Tim Kendall, CEO of Moment, are to use the built in screen-time app to understand your usage, turn off notifications, and set limits – time limits and/or room limits (i.e. not bringing your phone into your bedroom).
Take it a step further and make time in your day to do nothing. Wander around outside or play a game with no goal in mind, get enough sleep, pay attention to what and who is around you. Neuroscientist Rob Kent de Grey says "We're not built for unrelenting stressors. What the science points to is this: the very act of doing nothing is important."
When you wake up tomorrow, do yourself a favor and take a few moments to yourself before reaching for your phone. Whether it's sitting in meditation, making a cup of coffee, doing a few stretches, or looking out your window at the sky, notice how you feel by simply giving yourself five minutes of being rather than doing.
I'd love to hear from you. Comment below with how it went.