Perhaps the most valuable lesson I’ve learned on this journey of self-care is one of not getting lost in the world of technology. I think we all know what it’s like to sit down in front of a computer to do one quick thing and not emerge for an hour or more. When my schedule is tight, I keep a strong focus on my priorities, which means not getting distracted by electronics, especially in the morning before I meditate.
The challenge lies in the fact that I use my smartphone for a lot of self-care practices. Music for yoga is stored in there, as well as my brain booster apps, affirmation meditations, and my idea list for this blog. I often check the weather on my phone before heading out for a hike, and it’s very tempting to see what’s happening on Facebook. Yet I know what’s down that rabbit hole and that I can easily get sucked into scrolling through status updates and loss track of time.
Since I value the convenience my gadgets provide, I’m disciplining myself to use them intelligently. Many days I have plenty of time on the train to respond to messages. On days that I don’t, I actually schedule time for electronic communication and do my best to stick with it. This means checking email and Facebook two, maybe three times a day and not 4oo. This simple strategy really helps keep me on track and allows me the time to focus on my goals without getting waylaid. It also improves productivity because I’m not rushing to get back to what I “should” be doing or multi-tasking.
Just as I schedule time for working on my website or newsletter and time for exercise, rest, or creative projects, I’ve come to an awareness that social media and other communication needs a time slot. While I do wish to remain in touch with friends and clients near and far, I’m not willing to sacrifice the supportive practices I’ve developed over the past six weeks. This technique helps provide a healthy boundary that prevents surfing the web from overtaking my precious downtime. Basically I’m using my gadgets to support my goals rather than letting them use me.