In the last week, I read two great articles written by friends. Both posts reminded me of a subject that is so important in today’s world and one that I have written about before – reducing screen time. It’s more and more apparent to me that turning off phones and other screens is crucial. Yet, it seems more difficult than ever.
We like to be accessible, and we don’t like idle time.
I’ll confess I have struggled with it too, but more and more I’m leaving my phone out of reach and turning it off regularly. I’m forcing myself to be totally present, to ask questions, to listen more, to observe more, and yes, to live more.
My friend • Donnell King, MS, DTM wrote a beautiful article based on observing two people in the ICU of a hospital. While Donn wasn’t necessary advocating for less screen time, he would have totally missed the keen observations he made in his heart-wrenching article if he had been screen scrolling.
Who knows what great experiences we have missed because we have been sucked in by the screen.
My friend and professional speaking colleague Juliet Funt also wrote a fantastic article reminding parents of the importance of monitoring screen time in their homes and having periods of time where all screens are turned off.
I can hear the concerns:
“I need my phone on so I can be accessible to my kids, parents, etc.”
“What if I have an emergency?”
“I missed a great picture once because I didn’t have my phone!”
“My phone is my clock. I must keep it by my bed.”
“I need my phone to guide me to my destination.”
I am not suggesting that you become a Luddite and get rid of your phone. However, I do suggest that you be more intentional about your screen time and figure out ways to minimize doom-scrolling – which affects your mental health.
For each of the reasons for having your phone handy above, there is a reasonable compromise that allows for a more present-filled and intentional life.
We all have limited time in our work and personal lives. Reducing screen time will help you by giving you more time for:
Less screen time will make you more productive and valuable in you work and offer experiences you have been missing and didn’t even know it.