And, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Too long, won’t read version: Add an offline activity to the start of your day for better days.
The long version: I paid attention and realized something yesterday. #storytime
I left my Airpods at home yesterday after my phone kindly warned me I’ve exceeded the recommended level for audio exposure. Got me wondering, how else is one supposed to listen to So Mi Like It? I digress…
Anyway, I wanted to give my ear a break, and didn’t want any temptation, so I brought a book instead for my commute. Usually, I’d read an e-book on my phone, while listening to music, switching between this app then that app, skipping this song then that song, you know the usual. On this particular commute, however, it was just my book and I, and my phone stayed in my purse.
Then, the magic happened.
I got to work, and I got to work. I was more focused, like way more focused than usual. I had less urge to check my phone, or mess around on the internet, or check email constantly.
I took my lunch break outdoors, instead of the usual eating and messing around online at my desk. There’s a nice small park in the back of the building with some benches, and it was a gorgeous day. I left my phone in the office.
When I left work, I went on my usual walk through a beautiful trail to the train station. I called my dad and we chatted. Then, I read some more on the train ride home.
It was a good day, 10/10. I realized it was all thanks to starting my morning offline, with a book, instead of my phone.
The book was, fittingly, In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed. The summary is in the title.
The offline world is slower in contrast to the online world.
If you’re reading a book, let’s say, then you’re just reading a book. If you’re on your phone, or laptop, there’s a million things you can be doing: check social media, read the news, listen to music, send a text, watch something on YouTube; phew! just typing it out is exhausting.
This means, when we start our day online, we are bombarded with high speed digital noise and clutter, and that sets the tone for the rest of the day. The whole day can end up feeling rushed, noisy and cluttered, too. In contrast, when we start the day offline at a slower pace, whether that’s for an hour without checking devices, or taking our commute offline, there is a slowness that spills into the rest of the day.
And boy, is it so much more enjoyable.
I encourage you to try out starting your days offline or with an offline activity. It could be any activity that gives you a moment unplugged and away from the digital noise. Pay attention and see how it feels.
P.s. Remember: All advice is autobiographical. YMMV: Your mileage may vary. Feel free to break the rules. Make the life you want.
Until next time…
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