Your phone can be an amazing tool for growth. Or, unlike I have found through times, it can be a source that feeds depression and anxiety. Are you constantly looking at the screen to check every feed possible? Chances are, you lack direction. Let me explain the WHY and how you can change your habits to allow you to aim towards something more positive and constructive.
I recently found myself constantly picking up my phone and checking everything from Twitter, Facebook, emails, WhatsApp, Instagram…
Well, you get the idea.
Coinciding with every study going, this happened to be the times that I feel/felt at my lowest. I noticed that I was forever picking up when in around people I didn’t really know, sat alone in my home, on journeys to meetings and so forth.
I noticed the pattern yet couldn’t stop myself from breaking the cycle. Sometimes I was always checking it. Other times I was only glancing. The pattern, however, always remained.
Which got me asking the question of not why I was doing it. I knew that. Every study that has been done around this is unanimous in their findings. It is linked to depression, yes. However, this only feeds the depression, creating a loop, each side feeding the other. That is the cycle, not the WHY!
I need to know why the cycle was occurring and equally, what can I do to break it. I did this when I was again picking up my phone and found that I was about to respond to something I saw on Twitter regarding a post that had no relevance to me. What made me realise what I was doing was that I was about to do this only moments after I wrote the following tweet:
Rather than get outraged by a tweet or post, focus on yourself and how YOU can improve— Better Man, Better Father (@Becoming_A_Hero) December 23, 2019
Universal growth is done by leadership and example
Not by chirping in with 140 characters #mondaythoughts #MondayMotivation #triggerwarning #TwitterMomentsOfDecade #LeadershipDevelopment
How could I be going against something I wrote only moments ago? And what exactly could I do to limit this happening in the future?
I first needed to understand the WHY to then come up with a HOW in order to stop this cycle from happening.
I put my phone down, closed my eyes and began reflecting. It’s funny as this is something I never used to do as I felt it was silly just to close my eyes and reflect. But the truth is, for me, it helps me analyse why I do things which, is the first step to overcoming something.
I soon realised that it was a mixture of nerves, habit, direction & clarity. I also came to realise that I am the sort of person that has to be doing something constantly. I really struggle to allow time for my body to rest and my mind to be with itself. So let’s address these so that we can see the WHY first before we go onto the HOW
The nerves derive from a variety of origins and have in itself become a habit. The direction is something I have only really only begun exploring in terma of how long I’ve been around on this planet and in many ways, is something that will always continue throughout my existence. The clarity comes through doubt and being unsure of myself. I have a plan, yes. But many questions arise on a daily basis in order to make that plan a reality.
With all this, uncertainty comes about which brings about nerves. Which perpetuates this loop of picking up my phone to check things I really don’t give a shit about.
After a little time, I worked out the WHY. I needed to come up with something that addresses all of the above and strengthens my clarity which in turn will add to my productivity by reducing the uncertainty so that I simply begin getting shit done.
Take this article for example. I haven’t written for ages. Yet once I figured this out, I needed to write it so that I understand it fully and hopefully it helps someone else in this world. I know full-well what it’s like to be stuck in life and it fucking sucks big time. We are forever in a constant state of either decline or progression and I want for everyone out there to be in the latter category.
I digress slightly.
So onto the HOW!
As with any habit, you need a replacement. Those neurons have already formed so to simply stop then (if you have been doing them for some time at least) without any replacement would be near on impossible. So start replacing the go-to app with something more productive.
For me, I use a series of apps:
The main app is called Trello where I list everything from my goals, tasks, to do this week and what’s in the pipeline to be done, who I need to contact and general thoughts and notes in order to develop myself towards the future I intend on pursuing.
If you do find yourself hitting the Facebooks app, try using it’s ‘saved’ feature. Over the past couple of years, I have saved many articles that I never would look at as I chose to look through the feed, adding to my depression. It’s about time I began sifting through the 300+ articles I have saved over the years.
Lastly, I use an app called Pocket. This is an app for saving web pages (similar to the Facebook save feature). This app is great as it allows you to listen to the articles meaning you can do so when in an environment not suitable for reading such as driving etc.
When it comes to audio, there are two audio services for podcasts and audiobooks. I use Castbox and Audible however there are plenty out there. Make sure you subscribe to things that develop growth into the direction you are looking to go. Simply listen to a chapter when you are unsure of what to do at that moment. Fill the time with productivity and guidance rather than the nonsense you find on social media.
Also, try using a meditation app. Again, there are many out there and it’s good to use the time when you don’t know what to do with something that will benefit you in the long run. Check out this article on the long-term benefits of meditation by clicking here > https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation
So what do I gain from creating a pattern of every time I pick up my phone, I check this app?
It confirms everything from where I’m going, what I should be concentrating on and what needs to be done in order to get there. I put my mind into a state of doing and thinking rather than escaping.
The ironic thing was I couldn’t find it at first when I came up with this idea which empathises just how deranged my priorities can be sometimes in that when I needed my planner to replace my escape mechanism, I couldn’t find it.
In true transparency, like with all these posts, I write them as they come to thought. This is a new experiment for me and hopefully, it will change my daily pattern and feed my growth mentality. Something needed to change and with a bit of training, hopefully, this will build on my endless desire for growth.