Picture: Pretty flowers in FILOLI gardens by me
Since the pandemic started, I have grown annoyed with my phone. In fact, I strongly dislike it. While I use it to communicate with friends and family, so much of what is on my phone seems pointless. So, I spent an entire day (5/15/21) without my phone. I told the friends I communicate with on a regular basis that if they wanted to reach me, they can text me or FaceTime me, as my laptop was still something I used in my day without my phone, and I use my laptop for productive and beneficial things on a daily basis. Before I share that day with you, I want to share some predictions and feelings I had beforehand.
My Predictions and Thoughts Before Hand:
In the days leading up to this No Phone Saturday, I was a bit worried I would not be able to find things to do or I would run out of things to do. I guess that shows you my relationship with my phone. I would use it as a crutch to distract myself from any not so good thoughts. This posed a challenge I looked forward to. A lot of the times I hear people complain, myself included, about how they do not have time to pursue their hobbies and interests, and so I predict that this situation would force me towards those things, which I think is a very positive thing.
In the productivity space, I hear a lot about people setting a word that embodies what they want for that year, that quarter, and/or that half. I wanted to do that today, but also use that word for the rest of the year: intentional. I think today, I will be able to be more intentional, more present, and more aware, and I hope to bring that into the rest of my year. Due to the nature of the world we live in, we all are naturally super connected to technology, making our phones the third part of our brain; we have the left brain, the right brain, and the phone brain. Even if our phone rests face down and/or off, it still lingers as though we are subconsciously connected to our phone. This may not necessarily be a problem, however it can become one. It’s an issue if we do not have an awareness of it. If we are aware of the fact that it is a challenge or can be a challenge for us, that allows us to engage with that challenge and work to ease it. I think it’s important that we allow time to turn off that side of our brain and step back. This gives us the time to look directly into ourselves, rather than the persona we grow from our phone. Looking into ourselves means we can turn into better people and fix things we may not have known needing repair.
I think I will use this time to develop new, positive habits. I will use today to create that well-rounded lifestyle I’ve been wanting to attain before I move to college and am flung out on my own. This day will allow me to evaluate what I want my life to look like. Our phone is at the center of our life, and I want to change that for my well-being.
I think I will be more productive today, despite having a show, movie, or podcast on in the background (I don’t do well in complete silence). My to-do list is not on a deadline, so I do not need to be in the same focus space I would be for school, however I do know I will be more productive than if I added my phone to this condition. It’s also important to note that I have a different relationship with my phone than my iPad and laptop because their purposes are different and their associations are different. I associate my laptop and iPad with school work, productivity, learning, and no social media, despite using them even more than how much I use my phone. They are not the problem.
Lastly, I think it will be a really good day!
My Thoughts During:
Before I started my day, like every day, I made a to-do list, keyed with all of the things I intended on doing throughout the day. You’ll note that some of the to-dos were housekeeping and actual productive things, but a lot of the things were to-dos surrounding my own self-growth. These habits do not just appear out of thin air and land on your lap, you have to determine how you are going to go about exactly what you want and how you will incorporate that into your daily life.
Three hours from my initial start, I spent that time sitting at my desk working on my May mood board I keep in my journal and started working on a Notion page that laid out everything I want GAS to look like after its rebrand. I found that I got a lot more done than I anticipated in terms of the rebrand. I developed the to-do list, which is MASSIVE might I add, and started chipping away at it. I found I was able to get really into the zone and grasp on to a clear train of thought because I did not have my phone anywhere near me. I managed to achieve a state of really deep focus, allowing me to develop all of these rebrand things in ample time.
Despite only checking off two things, I still felt more fluid with my work. Everything felt like it came together with ease. My work ended up more thorough and higher quality because I could collectively process it all without any distractions chopping up my thoughts. This made my thoughts more cohesive.
At the time of this update, I had everything thought out for the rebrand, something I didn’t think I would be able to do that rapidly and thoroughly.
At this point, I worked on the couch doing less intense productive things. This was the time I spent working on diving into my habits and the ways of my life. During this time, I watched three movies and even though I worked through them, I felt more present and engaged while watching. I noticed awhile back that I tended to only be “half there” when I would watch movies or TV shows and even through I am still connected to screen, it’s nice to be fully present without the distraction of the phone. In my eyes, it’s a whole different watching experience when you’re not on your phone during a show or movie.
I will say, I was a bit on the anxious side after I spent a lot time evaluating my entire life. I was on edge and over thinking which of course leads to anxiety. However, I don’t think that was due to not having access to my phone. If I had my phone and had done the type of evaluation and looked through this critical lens, my mental state still would have weakened. I do think that being more disconnected from my phone helps find more, and better, coping mechanisms. After dealing with anxiety for over a decade, it turns into a game. I made a list of things I want to do more, and that has helped ease any uneasiness that would end up leading to an anxiety attack. So, instead of going on my phone, I intended on picking up a book, going through Pinterest, learning something new on Khan Academy, journaling, going outside, or doing literally anything that brings me calm AND keeps me off my phone. Note from future Ky: It’s working out just fine :))
This felt like a time where I could just hang out with myself, do my nails, and watch a movie. It wasn’t anything fancy but it still felt nice to just be there and soak up this moment of peace. This day felt more intentional with my time and I felt as though I had more time in my day. I had finished everything and then some by around 5pm giving me a few more hours in my day to engage in leisure. I was more at ease and at peace and overall felt a lot better, besides the little anxious slip up, but it rode that wave faster than I normally would. Everything I did today had purpose and added something to my life, even if it was something as small as a movie, it added enjoyment and leisure, something very important for our quality of life. Even the moments I had to go on Instagram for a GAS post, I did just that and nothing else. It had a purpose and it was achieved, not aimless scrolling. My time didn’t feel wasted and that’s such an unexpectedly freeing feeling.
It was a great day.
My After Thoughts:
I am now about two weeks removed from my first no phone day and I can happily say that I will make it a monthly habit. Even thought it’s been two weeks and I’m still getting my footing with some of my new habits, I can definitely say I’m still flying high. I feel more connected to everything I do, whether they are habits, day to day activities, or m routines . I am more connected to my surroundings. Everything is intentional.
Here is the Notion document I used to layout everything I wanted to do in terms of my morning and night routines and my habits:
My morning routine is now more intentional. I try to be off my phone the first thirty minutes (note my use of the word try, I am still trying to build this habit). I also started working on focusing more on the Law of Attraction and really work on honing in on my manifestation skills (scroll down on the document for how I plan on doing that). This habit has enhanced my mindset more than anything, and on top of all of the new healthy habits and healthy relationship with my phone, I have never felt better. Throughout my day I am more intentional and present with everything I do. As for my night routine, nothing has really changed. I put my phone on do not disturb and I’ll read or watch something. I take my routines very seriously as they impact my day. A solid morning routine allows me to get motivated and prepared for my day ahead, and a strong night routine allows you to sleep with ease so you can get up and conquer your morning routine.
My habits are what have really changed me and my relationship with my phone. While I still have to actively work on not falling into the Snapchat explore page, I engage less with my phone. I moved Instagram to my iPad and I check it every few days, and I honestly have no desire to be on it. The more time I spend away from it, the less I think about it. It’s a freeing feeling to go on it when I want to, not when I’m bored. Pinterest is the only platform I spend a lot of time on, and I’m okay with that because I find inspiration, recipes, and life hacks that add something to my life. There are two really concrete habits I have implemented. The first weekend of the month, I sit and determine what day would be best to have a no phone day. I think this detox once a month is very beneficial and gives me 24 hours of me time. The second habit is my favorite thing I’ve ever decided to implement in my life. In my notes app, I have a note titled Pockets of Peace and Daily Gratitude. Here is where I make little notes of the little things in my day that bring me peace and below that I write down the little things I’m grateful for. I have a reminder that goes off at 1pm that reminds me to make note of things if I haven’t, and I use prompted questions to guide me if necessary (I’ll even throw in some pictures here and there). The questions I use are: what made you feel joy today? what made you smile today? what did you see that was beautiful today? what made you feel at peace? do you have a picture of something that made you feel good? And while I have all of these habits that impact my life, the biggest impact has been this subconscious shift of actively engaging in things that do not fall onto my phone. I have a sort of awareness that keeps me from scrolling, therefore I read, or work, or lean something.
Overall, I highly recommend doing this for yourself and see what you learn, you might be very surprised.
Don’t forget to stay vibin!
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