Our phones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices are so wonderful to have for not only our enjoyment, but for communication purposes. Sometimes, however, they can consume our time. Time is a precious thing and to make sure we don't waste it, we all need to find a balance. Here are a few ways you can unplug in your life and maybe re-balance your time:
Silent, Off or Do Not Disturb is OK - There are times when we all need a break and putting your phone on silent, turning it off for a bit or even having an auto reply message can be helpful when you need to have an important face to face with a family member or friend. We all turn them off when we are speaking with a doctor, in an important meeting at work or at the movie theater, but how often do we do this when our kids need some homework help, or our spouse tells us about their day? Time with those we love is so short. Make sure you give them all of your attention when you can. When they are gone, we never think about how we all had enough time with our loved ones, do we?
Nightstand: No Phone Zone - Stack your nightstand with books, newspapers and magazines to read instead of scrolling through your phone at bedtime. Studies have shown that the less screen time before bed helps us to sleep better. Having a restful activity (like reading) to wind our minds down for the day will promote rest as well.
New Alarm Clock - Get a traditional alarm clock for your room if you find you can't seem to leave your smart phone alone during the night. That way you won't be tempted to check it when you wake up in the middle of the night and you can easily get back to sleep.
Gather, When the Family Gathers - Have a policy of gathering everyone's cell phones when the family gets together for a family dinner, family game night or a holiday event. That way everyone has a chance to connect when they are together for special moments. Make a game room that is a "No Phone Zone" so that when everyone is in there, they concentrate on other activities other than social media. Also, if you are one who needs pictures at special events, or places, maybe consider using a traditional camera instead of your phone to avoid phone distractions as well. Or, maybe even leave the camera at home entirely so you can just fully live in the moment.
Have a Zen Moment - It's also important to have some time totally to yourself to regroup or refresh and just let our thoughts be the only thing we "hear". Have a reading nook or some other spot in your home that is a quiet space to just "be". It is in those quiet moments sometimes we hear the most important things we need to hear. Don't miss that still, small voice that will help you move ahead in your life because you were too busy reading someone's random comment on Instagram about their cat. Trust me. There will always be more cat stories to go around!