Are you always on? If you’re in love with your smartphone, the answer might be yes. In fact, our ever-connected life is leaning more toward multitasking as our devices become more embedded into the way we live. But the mere existence of smartphones isn’t an excuse to be connected 24/7. Though it can seem unthinkable to turn off your devices now and again, learning to do so could make you a better freelancer.
When you’re joined at the hip with your phone or computer, you build a boundary-less life—one that’s dictated by the priorities of others. Sure, it might be fun to take a quick browse through Instagram or double-check your email on the weekends, but all too often, hard-working freelancers engage in these tasks more than necessary. The “always on” mentality that results can split your attention when you’re trying to engage with real-world situations and drain your will to perform work-related tasks when it’s time to put the rubber to the road.
So what’s a modern creative to do? Turn off the device, already! Force yourself to leave the house without your phone at some point during your day. Explore something new in your area, check out a national landmark, go for a run.
To make it easier, consider implementing one or more of these policies—then stick to them and watch your personal life rebound and your inner life relax a bit.
Forbid Phones From The Bedroom
Unless you live in a tiny space, you probably have enough room to turn your bedroom into a sanctuary—one that’s used solely for relaxation and one-on-one time with your sweetheart. With statistics showing that more and more people are doing things like check Facebook during sex (and revelations that the light from electronic devices can actually disturb your sleep), consider banishing electronics from your bedroom altogether. Once you reclaim your bedroom, you might be surprised…this simple room can turn your room from extension of your office to a place to play, dream, and recharge.
Eat Without Electronics
The dinner table is another place where phones and computers can wreak some serious havoc. Not only can distracted eating lead to things like weight gain, but depriving yourself of the chance to savor your food and your company can deprive you of a true creative opportunity. Think of it this way: when your electronics encroach on conversation or the exploration of different sensations, flavors, and textures, your mind doesn’t have a chance to expand. The stressed, always-on state that results can lead you to burnout.
Go On A Phone Fast
Remember how boredom felt when you were a kid? You likely went outside, delved into your journal, or lay on your bed to imagine all kinds of things in an attempt to stave of what felt like endless hours alone. It’s harder than ever to attain that state as a phone-toting, constantly entertained adult. Why not try to replicate it with some enforced off time? Start slow, if need be, but practice time away from your phone. Don’t cheat—make sure your devices are off and stowed where you can’t yield to temptation and look at them. Then, see what happens. You might just be surprised by the results…a little distraction, emergency-free oasis obtained with the mere push of a button.