Let’s be honest, the world is becoming more overwhelming. From 24-hour news coverage, sirens, text messages, Facebook messages, Instagram direct messages, Snapchat snaps, phone calls, voicemail messages, personal emails, work emails and a plethora of other stimuli, the world is constantly screaming at us. I’ll 100% admit to you that at times it completely overwhelms me. When I spend an entire day staring at a screen, I feel both physically exhausted yet mentally anxious.
I think we can all admit that we’re pretty addicted to our smartphones. Of course, we can use the excuse “I’m using it for work,” and that definitely has merit. However, let’s be honest and admit that we spend far too much time scrolling the feed, lazily looking for something to entertain us to pass the time. Now, I don’t think it’s inherently a bad thing, but I think we do it far too much. Like everything in our lives as Americans, we love to push the envelope in excess.
Here’s the sad reality though. While “working” on our fitness business all day on my phone, here’s what really happens:
- It takes me longer to complete tasks because I’m distracted.
- I mindlessly switch back and forth between Facebook and Instagram, looking for the next exciting thing.
- I’m less mindful and present with my family.
- I become anxious, seeing everyone doing awesome things. Comparison creeps in and I wonder why I suck so much because my daily life doesn’t compare to someone’s highlight reel.
- The inactivity from staring at a screen wreaks havoc on my back, neck and shoulders.
- My wife feels neglected because I’m constantly “working on my business.”
- I’m constantly engaged in a reactive state of mind, playing too much defense.
- I end a day disappointed and feeling unfulfilled, knowing I left a lot in the tank.
- I miss out on things that actually matter.
I absolutely love social media. I use it to promote our business, keep in touch with colleagues and watch an endless supply of dog videos. However, to quote Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.” I ran an experiment with myself during the first shutdown and adhered to one simple rule. I would only access social media twice a day for 20-minutes each. Let me tell you, it was much harder than I expected. In order to increase my chances of success, I disabled notifications. To quote Sun Tzu “If you know the enemy and yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” I knew that as soon as my phone buzzed, I was going to give-in. Disabling notifications was key! Below are the insights/results that occurred.
- Instead of mindlessly scrolling, I accessed my social media accounts with purpose (see what I did there?). As a result, I truly did use it to promote the business, respond to people and still sneak in a dog video. The time was used with purpose (starting to see a theme, here?) and not simply wasted.
- I found myself far less distracted during the day and increased productivity.
- I started ending more days satisfied, knowing I worked hard to move the sticks.
- My anxiety levels dropped more than I can even describe. Quite simply, I stopped giving a fuck what everyone else was up to online.
- I connected more with my wife (so much so that we have a daughter on the way. So much for social distancing…).
- I suddenly “found” more time to be active and as a result my body started to move and feel much better.
Now, I’ll admit that this experiment has only been going for a few months. However, I’m quite pleased with the results. My physical/mental health, family life, friendships and work productivity have dramatically improved. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Train your body. Feed your mind.