What usually comes to mind when we think about addiction is the compulsive consumption of unhealthy substances like fatty food, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. While many of us take pride in avoiding these harmful habits, we rarely think about our mental addictions that can have the same debilitating impact on our mood, our personal and professional relationships, and our physical health.
Almost everyone I know has felt that obsessive urge, a persistent compulsion, to check our phones or laptops for the latest email or social media update. Some of us also struggle with peeling our eyes from our television or stepping away from our video games. In short, we as a society are fixated, addicted to anything with a screen.
What’s also shocking is that nearly everyone I’ve spoken to wishes they were less attached to their devices and more engaged with the world around them. The problem is that our digital devices actually serve an important purpose in our lives- connecting with others.
Fortunately, I am offering three ways you can gently unplug while still using technology for what’s it worth.
In my videos, I talk about the importance of setting boundaries so that you keep your mind focused on fulfilling your life’s highest calling. Thanks to technological advances, we are able to reach out to virtually everyone and anyone at any time, which makes respecting others’ boundaries very difficult. For the sake of your own peace and clarity, you must decrease others’ expectations that- through texting or social media messaging- you will always be available to them. Set a time during the day when you’re available to others, both personally and professionally, and times when you are not. If you get a text in the evening from a co-worker, explain that you’ll take care of it first thing in the morning. These boundaries are necessary if you’re to maintain a positive, balanced energy.
Stressed? Put Down the Gadgets
By not setting boundaries between yourself and the digital mediums through which everyone can contact you, you put yourself at risk of burning out. Workaholics and other people who push themselves to the brink of collapse, in both their professional and personal lives, can be successful… up to a point. They have yet to achieve the kind of long-term, sustainable, world-altering elite success that they were clearly meant for. To truly capitalize on all of your strengths, to be fully invested in long-term gain, you must know when to replenish your energy.
When you’re stressed out, anxious, frustrated or bored, put down the technology. Turn off the screens. Put your smart phone on sleep mode. Set aside time for deliberate rest, which will increase your physical and mental capacities when you’re ready to start up again. Mental clarity and focus is necessary to achieve the vision you have for your future, and you can only do that by taking a break from digital distractions.
Stop Using Technology To Multi-Task
Research has proven that no one is good at multi-tasking, no matter what people may say. Human beings are most productive when they’re mindfully focused on the challenge at hand, not having their attention pulled in different directions. Unfortunately, our computers, televisions, and especially our smart phones make it difficult for us to focus intently on one task without being driven to distraction. Those shiny screens are meant to draw our attention away from the possibilities of the here-and-now. Don’t let it happen.
To quote Nike, just do it. When you’ve set yourself up for accomplishing a goal, big or small, you must make a mental commitment to finish what you started. You can’t do that if you’re distracted by texts, social media updates, or clickbait. Take a moment to pause and reflect on the work you ought to be doing this very moment, whether it’s accomplishing a certain goal or simply being present in the world.
As the Peak Performance Expert, I can help you find new ways to mindfully approach your life so that your mind, body and spirit are all on the same team. Ask me how Peak Performance Mentoring or Team Peak Performance Training can help you re-focus your attention on your endgame – which is to be the very best you can be.