This month, my virtual book club read Thrive by Arianna Huffington and I found myself nodding at everything she wrote. I even pulled out my pencil and Post-It flags. Arianna suggests that, in order for us to succeed in business and life, we need to take care of our mental and physical well-being first. She calls this her “Third Metric.”
According to Thrive , important non-negotiables are: meditation, sleep, and unplugging. So far, I’m not even close to earning an Asian F for these (a B+).
My biggest challenge, however, is unplugging. Most of the time I fail miserably when I try to stay off my computer and mobile devices on the weekends and during family time.
Because of my work, social media is both work and play. I definitely feel lucky to love what I do. However, this means the lines of personal and work are blurred (like this blog post). Right now the biggest culprit for me is Facebook. I love checking my timeline to see what my friends are up to: photos of family days out, pregnancy announcements, running marathons and other slice of life moments.
After reading Thrive, I’m challenging myself to unplug more. I’m half-unplugged on the weekends, but I resolve to do better. Here’s what I plan on doing to make it less tempting to pick up my smartphone on the weekends:
- Set up quiet time on my email app. I know the Hotmail app has this function, but I need to figure out how to do this Gmail. A few months ago I switched to the new Gmail format so I only get notifications for emails that hit my main inbox. That’s kept the email symbol showing up less on my phone. I’m sure there’s an app to quiet my email when I want it to.
- Turn off all sound for app notifications. My husband’s phone makes a sound for every notification and text he gets. It drives me nuts. I turn all the sound off my notifications except for texts. That way I don’t jump up every time it goes off. I only get texts from close friends so that’s not a big deal for me.
- Turn off notifications on social media apps. I actually do this for Facebook already. I don’t need my phone to buzz or ding every time someone posts on my wall or responds to a post I’m following. Now I’ll do this for Hootsuite too since that’s my other culprit.
- Only read ebooks on my Kindle. I recently got a Kindle Fire HDX and am in love with it. My tablet was just too slow when loading up Kindle and e-book apps. Plus I was distracted from my reading by Facebook, email and other things on my tablet. While the Kindle Fire is a tablet I’m not setting up my email on it. I’m planning on removing Facebook from it too. I’ll just use it to read and stream movies on Amazon Instant Video.
- Keep my phone in my purse instead of my pocket. This will be the hardest for me. When my phone is in my pocket, I’m more likely to pull it out every few minutes. When I’m home on the weekends, I’ll just leave it on my desk. I don’t normally sit in my office on the weekends so I’ll be less tempted to play with my smartphone.
Whew! I think that’s a good start. This way I can focus on my kids and not have a screen in front of my face. Bonus tip: As for weekdays, I’m going to follow my friend Janeane’s lead and unplug from 4:30-8PM (when my kids are supposed to be in bed). I’ll also challenge myself to only read print books during this time.
If you have any ways to stay unplugged, please share. I could definitely use them!
This post was inspired by Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington who encourages everyone to sleep their way to the top. Join From Left to Write on May 1 we discuss Thrive. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.