Ok so I’ve never smoked, and don’t drink hardly anything at all these days. In fact Tina and I shared our first can of beer since Christmas, last weekend… Note: Shared! But that doesn’t mean other addictions don’t creep into our lives. I spend a crazy amount of time each day checking emails, facebook, twitter etc, just looking to see what else is happening, if I’ve made any sales of my products, seeing if anyone wants any design work doing, looking for offers… all manner of things, and all stuff that can really wait until later. Sometimes I’d check my email several times in the space of 10 minutes, just to see if anyone else had responded to a post on facebook etc! Information addiction is eating up my time!
Last week Tina randomly stuck an elastic band round my wrist and told me to flick it hard every time I nagged at my daughter to do something, and do you know what, I was amazed how quickly it’s worked. Partly because it really hurts, and partly because I consciously and subconsciously wanted to make that change.
So while keeping the band on there for that reason, I’ve also included Email, SMS and Facebook checking at times other than 9am, 12 noon and 3pm in there too, hopefully to help curb my Information Addiction.
I have plans, hopes and dreams, but if I look in detail at what I’m doing on a daily basis, I find that checking email and Facebook etc is really eating into my day. Much of my posting to Facebook pages is automated, so there is really no need for me to check things more than maybe once or twice a day.
Create an Alternative Focus
Now every time I feel the urge to check my mail, as well as flicking the band, I also get up and do something else for a minute or two to help kill off the urge:
- Do some exercise – Grab the pull-up bar and do 10 pull-ups or dips, do star jumps, squats or push ups
- Write a quick blog post or diary entry
- Tidy the desk, do some shredding
- Drink a glass of water
- Go for a few minutes walk in the garden
- Make something – Anything…
Whatever you chose, make sure you replace the information addiction with something beneficial to you. Those all important emails will still be there when the allotted time comes to check your mail. The world won’t end if you don’t respond to a Facebook conversation, and your twitter followers won’t stop following you just because you don’t tweet every 2 minutes… Life still goes on, and we managed pretty well before they existed.
This blog post wouldn’t have even existed if it wasn’t for me having the urge to go check email!
Grab an elastic band… Flick it hard next time you check your email, make it hurt, and enjoy the freedom, time, and clearer mind you create as a result.