The Importance of Powering Down to Focus on Ourselves
How much of your life do you spend plugged into technology? If your phone is what you end your day with and the first thing you reach for in the morning, it’s time to reevaluate your need for such devices.
Most of the time, you see the time you spend online a way to remain interconnected. Yet, all of that time spent on your phone is sucking up your energy, leading to less than beneficial outcomes for mind, body and spirit.
More Time Online Means Less Sleep
Do you get your eight hours of sleep every night? Are you up late checking social media, instead? You’re not the only one: People now spend more time on their laptops and phones than sleeping :
- Eight hours and 41 minutes is spent on devices per person, 20 more minutes than a regular night’s sleep
- Four out of 10 users of smartphones will check their alerts if awoken in the middle of the night
- More people spend time checking emails in the morning than eating breakfast
- 81 percent of people have their phones turned on 24/7
Do you have a bad habit of texting late at night, only to wake up less than refreshed in the morning and reach for your cell phone? The exposure to light on your devices is directly linked with poor quality of sleep. Over time, that leads to a weaker immune system and a likelihood to experience issues with anxiety, depression and even fertility. Bedrooms need to be tech-free areas to improve your quality of sleep, according to tech experts.
When you get a better quality of sleep, your body has time to work on any internal issues related to your physical health and mental health. This lets you start your day fresh and meet your goals head on.
More Time Online Means Less Focus On Your World
Between a full time job and a long to-do list, the stress piles on and your energy is spread thin. At work, you likely spend most of your day staring at a computer screen. Cognitive dissonance kicks in and your “no more” button is switched on. You start scrolling through social media posts and procrastinating, which only pushes back the time on what you need to do.
The cycle is torturous. When you get home, it’s wine and tube time to unwind. All of that time spent on devices detracts from the time you could be spending focused on your passions, your goals and truly living. When was the last time you painted, wrote, went for a walk or had a power nap with the pups?
The old cycle is hard to break. You could use apps to track your time and procrastination, and some apps even “punish” you for wasted time, ironically using technology against itself. Maybe that’s a little extreme.
It’s human nature to power down, but it’s how you power down that matters. Refocus on purpose. What is the purpose of how you are spending your time? If devices must be on, choose one.
Refocus on simplicity and bring your mind away from the material. Many people can’t realistically spend their lives without technology, but take personal time to go on self-imposed airplane mode and power down your cell phone for a set period of time. For one day, focus on finding your center, getting back in touch with your passions and having real face time with your friends. When you spend so much time online, you’re less focused on your personal world, where you were, where you are and where you are going.
Reclaim your space and sanity from the digital life. Focus your attention back on the microcosm, rather than the macrocosm of social media, smartphones and laptops. The smallest of changes, such as spending thirty minutes a day focused on a personal project, will create a ripple effect through the rest of your daily life, benefiting your mental, physical and spiritual health.