Basic Phone Guidelines – Leading to Greater Fulfillment
I did not get my first cell phone until I was in my early twenties while in law school. I did not get my first iphone until 2014, and we were likely the last ones of our peers to get an iphone/smart phone. However, with the great convenience, the phone can be addictive at times, even with little time. Here are some simple guidelines, shown below, which I have implemented, leading to greater joy and fulfillment.
The first guideline came about when Alex was born, when my life initially felt very disorienting with such a big change. Every mom told me to enjoy my maternity leave and that the time with Alex would go by way too fast, which is very true. I limited and continue to limit my iphone usage to be present, as this time only happens once with Alex and I do not want to miss it. During the times I am with Alex, other than using my iphone to snap a few photos or take a few short videos, I put my phone away. In fact, I learned my lesson as Alex recently got hold of my iphone and disabled it and put it in German! Yikes! She thinks the iphone and ipad are very captivating. Also, when Doug and I actually get to spend some uninterrupted time together, we put the phones away, which is really nice and liberating. Putting the phone away has really allowed me to focus on the moment and to be fully present.
Guideline #2: Be Bored from Time to Time
There is not a lot of time to be bored these days, but there are instances where it is really easy to grab the iphone and start checking email, social media, etc. So, I try to let myself be bored from time to time. Whenever I am waiting in a line, waiting for an appointment, or waiting for anything in general, my immediate compulsion is to take out my iphone and go through my email, social media, etc., which is what most others are doing as well. During those moments of not being occupied by anything else, I see things and I take an opportunity to just rest and be.
Guideline #3: Have Fun and be Present on Vacations
During vacations, outside of taking some quick photos on the iphone, which is sometimes easier versus bringing out my camera, I severely limit my iphone use during vacations as well. It really is a delightful break from everything and allows you to really enjoy your vacation and be present.
Guideline #4: Give My iphone an Early Bedtime in a Different Room
My final guideline is very life changing. When I get ready for bed myself, in the evening, I put my phone away in my office and do not check it until the morning. I find that it makes for much better sleep and a much needed break; and I usually try and read, edit photos, watch a TV show, or visit with Doug before bed. I am previously guilty of getting sucked into looking at email and social media before bed, and before I knew it, an hour had passed, which I wasted. Additionally, the light of our phones suppresses melatonin, which makes falling asleep more challenging, too. Also, most mornings, Alex and Doug are usually my alarm clock to get up; and I actually have an alarm clock instead of relying on the phone’s alarm, in order to keep the phones out of the bedroom.
I hope these guidelines might help you!