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It’s Not You, It’s Me: Taking Space from Your Device.


I want you to close your eyes and take a deep breath.  How do you feel?

Now think of your cell phone ringing.  Think of the text, emails and messages waiting for you. Whatcha feeling now?

9 out of 10 people experience anxiety.  We experience anxiety because we react like Pavlov’s dog to every ring ding and dong coming from this electrical device. 

Why? Because most clients, co-workers and friends have been conditioned to expect availability 24/7.  Let’s face it, people take offense when we don’t return their text immediately, and even worse, we’ve become afraid we might miss something important if heaven forbid, we miss a beep.

The ugly truth? We may pay the bills, but we’re not running the show when it comes to our devices.

Electrical devices mess with your brain.  Studies have shown that the brain displays increased activity for up to 90 minutes after looking at any device, and hormonal levels elevate long after being online or having cellular connection to the degree that mimics addiction.

Here’s another truth:  Friends, bosses and loved ones can be re-conditioned to have normal expectations.

All of this technology equals one thing:


So how do we gain control?

  • Schedule some private time by tossing your cell phone into the back seat of your car while commuting or running errands so you’re not tempted to grab it at stop lights.
  • Practice driving in silence and let yourself get lost in thoughts. After a while,  you’re at your destination and won’t remember even getting there because you were in the zone.

Welcome to peace.

  • Leave the phone at home while you walk your dog or in your gym bag while you work out.  Immersing yourself in the moment vs. being constantly distracted by technology calms your nervous system, slows breathing and awakens your senses to the scenery around you.

Welcome to emotional health.

  • Stash you phone, ipad or laptop in your carry-on while doing air or rail travel.  Take this time as private time and read.  Better yet, close your eyes and meditate.  This “time off” will leave you mentally refreshed and more focused than had you distracted yourself with technology.
  • Having control over technology = more productivity in the long run which in turn  = more happiness, health and money.  Consider giving yourself a lunch and coffee break without your phone.  Sound daunting?  Start with twice a week.
  • Shut the computer off by a certain time in the evening and witness your knee jerk reaction to check it. It’s been proven that looking at the light of an electronic device within 90 minutes of bedtime stimulates the brain and inhibits sound sleep.  (TV included)
  • Give yourself freedom from your phone and laptop from dinner time 3 days a week.  Sound scary?  Think about this: if you can’t allow yourself and your loved ones (dog included) some quality time to reboot and refresh, how effective are you going to be in life?

Cell phones are an addiction like anything else.  It takes strength to abstain from addictions that hurt you.

Don’t under estimate your technology addiction.

When we take substancial breaks from devices during the evening, we create a more balanced, productive, and  happy next day.

The best news?  Balance, productivity and happiness create more prosperity AND more health.

It’s time to get control over technology.  Your quality of life depends on it.


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Photo via photo credit: Professor Bop via photopin cc

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2 Responses to “It’s Not You, It’s Me: Taking Space from Your Device.”

  1. David Sullivan January 19, 2014 at 3:41 AM #

    Excellent advice! I started doing this a few months ago to “re-condition” my west coast friends and new colleagues to not call me after a certain time, and did so by using this brilliant function on my iPhone called “Do Not Disturb.” You can turn it on manually and it stays in that mode until you turn it off, or you can set up a daily schedule for it to be turned on and off.

    Feel like you’ll miss a REAL emergency? The function will allow calls from people you designate, OR it will allow a call to come through if the caller calls you several times (or twice? I forget) in quick succession.

    It didn’t help with my addiction to reading books on electronic devices or to continue working on my laptop (or watching great “mature audience” shows on cable that don’t come on until 10pm), but it was a BIG step in the right direction! At first, I got a few messages from people like, “hey, I tried to call you last night (or EARLY this morning, a BIG pet peeve of mine!) and couldn’t reach you” but after me telling them a few times that I needed my rest and that iPhone feature was being used to help keep me healthy and sane, no one gave me much grief. And when a few people DID continue to give me grief, I simply responded with, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but that’s just how it is so you’ll have to deal with it and plan accordingly.”

    Now THAT was very empowering!!


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