It may be quite damp and grey day today but I’m lucky to have started my Monday in a very positive way due to something I heard on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Tanya Goodin, author of Off. Your Digital Detox For A Better Life and founder of Time To Log Off, was being interviewed about our addiction to mobile phones. Go Tanya!
I have found lots of references to Tanya’s work whilst researching the issue of work-life balance; how many of us lack it and how we all strive for it. It’s something that was at the root of creating another number and why we added a ‘Do Not Disturb’ switch for people to use when they need to wind down and switch off from work.
Hearing this topic being covered on such a prominent show, listened to by millions of people getting ready for work, in their cars or on the bus really motivated me and made me feel like what we’re working on is something that people need.
Coincidentally, I posted a recommendation to Tanya’s book last Friday so this follows on very well. It’s pocket-sized so is easy to pop in your bag and maybe even keep with you after you’ve read it for the first time to remind yourself to switch off every now and then. Maybe start grabbing the book out of your bag at the bus stop rather than checking your work emails or social media.
It’s easy to say but hard to do, so her tips make it a lot easier to approach. I am getting much better at switching off from work on my phone as our app, Another Number makes it possible; as for the rest of the distractions on my phone, I am as bad as the next person.
Three examples of digital addiction I’ve noticed this weekend:
My 13 year old step-daughter had one of her friends over to stay. They spent most of their time together, right next to each other looking at their phones, making faces into their phones and them sending them to each other and their friends. Wow, anti-social media.
A friend of ours who visited yesterday was nervously checking his work emails in anticipation of Monday morning, worrying about whether he should start ploughing through them on Sunday evening rather than enjoying the remainder of the weekend with his family.
My own slip up…I love taking photos and whilst we were out yesterday in the Olympic Park I took lots on my iPhone (my right shoulder got fed up of my heavy DSLR quite a long time ago) but then every time I have taken a few I find myself looking at about 5 other things on my phone and getting very distracted, rather than enjoying my surroundings.
If you’re like me then you’re not alone. Last year Ofcom found that 59% of internet users consider themselves ‘hooked’ on their connected device, while a third (34%) admit they find it difficult to disconnect.
So for me this week is going to be about section 1 of Tanya’s book. Don’t try ditching the phone altogether but ‘Set Your Boundaries’. My first one will be to put my phone into Airplane Mode when I want to use it purely as a camera, so I can resist distractions. What are yours?
Maybe set yourself a small goal this Monday to get motivated!
If you’d like to hear the interview skip to 2:54:50 here.