Do you check your phone when you are on the toilet?
Do you text on your phone when you are walking?
Do you check your email and Facebook at the red traffic lights?
Do you snap photos of those quiet moments on the beach or park and post it on Instagram and Facebook?
Do you check your phone while you are in bed just before you go to sleep?
Do you send a picture of every meal to Instagram?
(Yes, guilty to some of these!)
Up until our iPhones and laptops came into our lives, our days were often filled with small gaps or moments of emptiness… or just ‘being’ in a simple state of awareness.
Slowly we have removed all those gaps in our day and we’ve filled them in with more and more data processing without even noticing. Emails, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Instagram, news feeds and Google. Data, data data!
Some of our most creative impulses and intuitions are born within those moments or ‘gaps’.
We are turning to on someone else’s post of a waterfall for inspiration rather than connecting with our own inner voice of wisdom.
So how do we bring back the gaps?
How do we regain those small daily moments of respite that are free of data?
Try implementing these suggestions for a week and let us know how you go…
- When you arrive home at night, put your phone on silent and leave it in a draw. Set a time to check your phone to see if there are any urgently missed calls. If there are none at that time, then put it back in the draw.
- If you are taking a toilet break at work, leave your phone at your desk.
- When you get in your car, place your phone in your glove box and on silent mode.
- When you are out walking, bring your attention to the world around you. Look at the sky, the trees, the sun, feel the breeze, what do you smell, see, hear, taste, touch? Be conscious of not being distracted and pulling out your phone to text someone.
- When you are on public transport, set aside moments that are purposely free of interaction with your phone, including music.
- Implement meditation into your day. These 15 minute sessions of mental quietness are a powerful way of structuring a break from data absorption and promote mental and physical rest.
Those little gaps in the day serve us a tremendous purpose. They are for rest, rebalancing and cognitions. Allow some space through your day and see what springs forth from those moments that aren’t just photos of someone’s lunch or someone on Facebook complaining about a queue they are in at the airport.
Stop to smell the roses…