If you’re like me, your device of choice is your constant companion. Whether it’s your phone, your tablet, your laptop, you probably don’t leave the house without it, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I think it’s important to have my phone with me in case of an emergency – especially when I consider my kids!
My phone helps me get where I need to go. Thank you, Google Maps! You do a fantastic job helping me avoid traffic jams.
For snapping sweet photos and videos of my munchkins, my phone is perfect!
When it’s time to throw dinner together, I usually use my phone as a cookbook.
I could go on and on and on about all the wonderful ways I use my phone every.single.day, but sometimes, I like to disconnect. You, too?
In this post, I am sharing ways I disconnect from my device – which just in case you haven’t picked up on it yet, my device of choice is my phone! Maybe these ideas will work for you or maybe you need a few different strategies. Either way, I hope these ideas will encourage you to always choose time with people over technology…real moments rather than fabricated ones…and quality relaxation over bright-light vegetating.
How to Disconnect from Your Device
Step #1: One of the best things I’ve ever done is silence my notifications – all of them! In fact, there are many that I have gone in to social media, etc. and actually turned off all together. For example, when I first join a new Facebook group, I turn off the notifications – especially when it comes to some of those For Sale groups. If you’ve ever become a member of one of those, you know what I’m talking about here – a notification every single time one of the 45,987 people in the group post something for sale. Ahhh! My notifications are turned off in an effort to keep me from focused on real life, and I love that I’m not constantly being distracted by dings and pings and rings.
There are just some things you simply cannot grasp if you’re holding on to something else. To grasp what matters, you must let go of what doesn’t.
Step #2: Remove time wasters. This could be an app that is distracting (like when I went through an obsessive phase with Words with Friends)…or something else – like in my case, voicemail. Yes, I completely did away with my voicemail. I was getting multiple messages a day that said, “Hey, it’s me! Call me when you get a chance.” Okay, if you call me, I will see that you’ve called me…or you could text me…or you could e-mail me…or you could DM me through some form of social media. I don’t know about your voicemail set-up, but with mine, it was taking me forever (I am not exaggerating!) to dial in, listen to the options, enter my password, listen to more options, listen to the callers’ entire number to be read off (Yes, even if they were in my phonebook – Weird, huh?), listen to the time of the callers’ calls to be stated, listen to more options, listen to the voicemails, and then listen to more options. Is this just a Verizon thing? I don’t know. I don’t remember it being this way back in the day when I rocked a Motorola Razor! Anyway, moving on…
Step #3: Tell friends when you’re not going to be available. For example, most of my friends know that in the mornings, I’m probably going to be busy homeschooling and during my kiddos’ afternoon rest time, I’m probably going to be tackling chores – so if they call and I don’t answer, they know why. In addition, my friends know that after David gets home, it’s family time – dinner, family walks, outings/activities with my real life people. Not only will I probably not answer my phone during this time, but I will actually have it silenced. Moral of the Story: Text me! ha!
The situation was actually my fault. I’d welcomed their phone calls, never letting on that I was busy at the moment. Because I let others call me at all hours of the day, interrupting my time with kids and their schoolwork…I set up an unhealthy pattern. Others knew I was a “drop whatever I am doing gal” who would come to their rescue. However, for the sake of my healthy and my family’s sanity, it had to stop. And I wondered, too, how often my availability prevented these women from running to God, the one they should have headed to in the first place. – Karen Ehman
Step #4: Ever tried charging your phone in another room? Whether in the evenings or at some point during the day, placing my phone out of reach in that way has definitely helped me disconnect from it and focus 100% on my fam-bam!
By spending less time worrying about the things that don’t matter, you will have more time for the things that do matter.
Step #5: Sometimes I will leave my phone behind all together – if hubby has his, that is. If I know we’re covered in case of emergency, I will leave my phone at home when we go on a walk…or take a trip to the park…or head out for dinner. Sometimes I really like stepping away from it.
Around here, you definitely won’t find me demonizing technology! I love it! I’m a photo fanatic who loves Instagram, but more than anything, I love the way I’m able to use technology in positive ways to make our family’s life better, but as with anything, it’s good to maintain a healthy balance, and these ideas for disconnecting have worked really well for me! When I’m with people, I want to focus on people – I want to always choose people over everything else.
Rather than spending time on extraneous duties that exhaust and burden, save your most valuable resources for the people and activities that bring you true joy and fulfillment.
What would you add to this list? Maybe a great idea I’ve never considered?
How do you disconnect from your device?
Love the quotes I’ve shared in this post? Unless stated otherwise, they are from Hands-Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford – a must read for moms of all ages and stages!
Also Available: Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford
Want some practical advice for the things to do INSTEAD of checking your phone? Try these!