How many of you, like me, feel lost without your phone? Honestly, sometimes I feel like my iPhone is just an extension of my arm. It’s with me everywhere I go (yes, I even take it in the bathroom…too much information?) and I just feel, well, weird, without it.
But the thing about having the phone with me all the time is that I feel like I need to be checking it constantly. Better make sure there isn’t a critical email in there waiting for me! Better make sure I’m on top of my Twitter feed in case I need to thank someone for mentioning me! Better make sure I’m watching any comments on my company Facebook page so that I can respond immediately!
It’s a form of insanity.
Nevermind that it’s rude when you’re with other people. (If my husband had a nickel for every time he asked me a question and got no response, only to look over and see that I was on my phone.) It also makes me, at least, a little obsessive and interferes with getting other things done (like blogging!) and just spending some time thinking.
So what this brings me to is the solution I’ve found works for me. We have two dogs and, since I work from home, I’m the one who walks them every day. I used to bring my phone with me on the walks (my other obsession is safety and what if there’s an emergency while I’m out there, no more than 1/3 of a mile from my house at any time??). About 3 months ago I decided that I was going to start leaving my phone at home during the dog walks. I’m not going to lie, I felt some withdrawal the first couple of days. But that dissipated in about a week.
The amazing thing was that, without compulsively needing to check my phone every time it beeped or buzzed, I suddenly had all of this…space. Space to relax my brain, notice things like the breeze or sounds of birds or, more recently, my nostrils freezing. And it turned out that I could think about work, just letting my mind wander, and come up with some really good ideas for my business. Things that, maybe, I wouldn’t have thought of or about if I hadn’t had that quiet time to myself.
Are any of you guys up for trying it? I mean, you don’t have to go out and get a dog or anything (well, unless you want to and then I heartily recommend rescue dogs!), but try a 30-minute walk each day. No iPod, no phone, just you and your two feet, off the grid for a half hour a day. Report back and let me know how it goes.