No, I am not a drug dealer or a doctor, but I do carry a pager. Recently, we were out with friends for dinner and my pocket started to vibrate. I reached in and pulled out my pager. Our younger friends looked at me with suspicion – I think they might have only seen these electronic relics in movies. Their questions started an interesting conversation. I have chosen to carry a pager to take back control of my life from my “smart” phone. Most days, my phone lives in my briefcase. I usually check it when I start my day, which is after my morning routine of preparing for the day, quiet time, and meditation. I also check it mid-day and late afternoon. If there is something that requires immediate attention, my awesome assistant, Janine, will page me. This way, I am comfortable knowing that if a client or situation needs me, I can be reached.
The Blog #204:The 4 Stages of Business Evolution, Stage 2 – Transition, I discussed how the stress hormone cortisol is elevated by even seeing your phone. This result is counterproductive. In addition, I believe there is full-blown addiction to our electronic and “smart” devices. Some estimates suggest we lose up to 30% of our cognitive efficiency bouncing from project to device to social platform and so on. And I believe it.
When I combined this thinking with a personal goal of
becoming more proactive and less reactive in my life, this move made sense. I
took some time and reviewed my phone usage. I explored the possible missed opportunities
or challenges I could avoid if I turned off my phone for a few hours. I decided
to set a specific time block to check my phone so I could review and respond to
calls, texts, emails, etc.
I wish I could say I was more important, but I did not see anything that couldn’t wait a few hours. So, I took the plunge.
Janine’s skills are priceless (she has a knack for finding outdated electronic devices). I set it up and am pleased with how it is going. Now, to be open and honest, I have more of an addiction to the smartphone than I’d like to admit, but each week gets better. I feel like I am on the right track.
I love it when I get the gentle nudge from Janine to stay out of my email, or even the threat that if I don’t get out, she will change the password because that’s her job.
Overall, it feels like the right direction.
My question to you is this: How reactive are you being to your smartphone? Are you controlling your time or is the device?
Do you want to learn how to control your time instead of your phone dictating it? We can help with that! Reach out to us today to find out how.
“Your cortisol levels are elevated when your phone is in sight or nearby, or when you hear it or even think you hear it,” David Greenfield, professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, told The New York Times. “It’s a stress response, and it feels unpleasant, and the body’s natural response is to want to check the phone to make the stress go away.” This leads to chronic levels of stress.