For those of you who may not be aware I’m challenging myself to stay off mobile technology, smartphones, ipads etc. for a set period each day during the entire month of October. Hence the #Offtober tag.
The challenge is to turn off the devices at 8pm and not turn them on again until 8am the next day.
It’s not a complete removal of the tech as that would have had a seriously negative impact on my working life. I am I guess no different to most of us, reliant on my phone for so much more than an odd call and text.
I have multiple e-mail accounts, calendars, news feeds and social media apps that can’t be left idle for too long….or so I believe. Whatever the reality I feel quite dependent on the tech and this is a small step to take back control.
There are great benefits to smartphones and tablets but equally there are the downsides. We can develop an addiction to these small devices and allow them to rule our lives at work, in meetings, while commuting and at home. They are invasive items but we are supposed to be the controllers, I fear that instead we are becoming the controlled. A re-tweet, a facebook like to our status update, new e-mail, text you name it these digital affirmations of our importance take up a disproportionate amount of our time and get in the way of true effective and important communication…in person.
Used late at night they can also impact on the quality of your sleep and therein health.
In my first week, in fact by the start of day 2 I had a result. I had in fact slept more soundly and recalled dreams. That might sound like a minor piece of news but for me it was a clear sign that switching off the devices earlier in the evening was something I will look to take beyond October.
Sleep is so very important to us. It’s our battery re-charge moment and without sufficient quality sleep we can become irritable, depressed, unproductive and unfocussed.
Despite a very busy and yes stressful week I’ve kept my nerve and to the #Offtober rule.
Faced with a weekend of family fun, daugthers both briefly back from University, I’m going to be further tested by their snapchatting and Instagraming but I fully intend to keep to my strict rule.
If you haven’t joined me yet I’d strongly urge you to try it. You will feel better and gain a sense of control over the ever so useful yet annoyingly compulsive tech.
Let me know if you decide to join me and tweet me your stories using the hashtag #Offtober
Follow me on twitter @davidlaud