How much time do you waste every day on social media? According to Google, most people spend a minimum of 1 hour and 40 minutes scrolling through their social media accounts.
Yes, you read that right…1 hour and 40 minutes…EVERY DAY.
And how often have I heard the excuse “I don’t have enough time.” I hear it with almost everyone I work with and, I’m guilty of saying that too!
But, for now, forget about the time you are wasting while scrolling through Facebook…how much ENERGY are you wasting as well. What are you actually contributing to and as a result, how much creativity are you letting slip by?
What would happen if you unplugged for an entire 24 hours? What might come up?
When I first did this, I realized very quickly how addicted I was to checking my email. I probably checked it 20 times a day. By unplugging, I saw how many times I mindlessly check in and delete the junk mail. I also felt a little anxious. There was an underlying “fomo”…fear of missing out. Once that subsided I noticed I actually felt LESS anxious than normal and was able to think more intuitively and allow for some creative ideas to surface that hadn’t occurred to me before.
Here is a truth about addictive behavior: It gobbles up time you could be spending doing something else.
Another truth: It squashes creative ideas. You’re simply too busy to notice them.
Years ago I coached the employees of a company through a weight loss challenge. They were divided into teams and each got a private phone session with me to help them strategize, etc. They all sent me emails telling me about themselves, their eating patterns, etc.
One man was morbidly obese and diabetic. When we spoke over the phone the first thing I suggested he do is pick up a hobby, preferably something where he used his hands. “When you give up your addiction to food, you will have so much free time on your hands….you’ll need something to do.” He started to laugh. Then told me he remembered being amazed at how much time he had after he’d given up drinking. He’d asked me if I’d ever been to AA and I said, “no, but I was a 2 pack a day smoker years ago…I had no idea how much time I was wasting taking ‘smoke breaks’.”
Same thing with technology addiction. Science has proven that we get a little ‘hit’ every time we post online or get a ‘like’. But that comes at a cost. It not only costs us our time, but our intuition and creative ideas as well.
In order for us to use our intuition and develop our creativity, we need to slow down and open ourselves up to our natural rhythms of thoughts and emotions.
This is true for our physical health as well. Practices like Yoga and Pilates are great for becoming present in our bodies. But not if your phone is on and you’re checking texts between poses. No. You have to turn your phone OFF for that time period to experience the power of the present moment.
So here’s my challenge to you. Schedule a day where you can go completely off line. If you are a parent, you’ll still need to have your phone handy in case of an emergency. BUT, you do not have to check Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram, etc. You don’t need to check your emails either.
Do this for one day this week. Don’t just think about how it might feel…actually UNPLUG for 24 hours. Notice what that brings up for you? Notice if feelings of panic or loneliness or come up. Maybe you feel depressed or bored. Or maybe you feel elated and free. Notice any creative or intuitive ideas that may pop up and how much time you have to actually act on them.
Personally, I’ve made this a weekly habit that I now look forward to. It’s a gift of freedom and creative expansion I give myself every week.
Let me know how this goes for you! And as always, retweet, repost, and forward this to a friend. And then? Sign off for 24 hours.