What I Learned in a Week Away From Distractions

My days are filled with emails, pings and notifications. So much so that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be away from all the technology-related distractions I’m used to. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned – or learned again – from spending a week away from it all, and how you can incorporate them into your life.

I recently visited a family in a remote area of ​​Montana. Remote enough for author Max Brooks to consider it one of the few safe zones for humans in the zombie apocalypse novel World War Z. But it was not a vacation. I followed my regular work schedule and counted my regular hours, but they felt differently. I felt less tense, relaxed, and for the first time in a long time, I could honestly say that I was “going with the flow.” I realized that this is because I am not distracted by devices or the screen every second second. I only stayed there for about a week, but left, wanting to take some with me. Here’s what I’ve learned and how you can find your own quiet home from the comfort of your home.

I have many more thoughts than I realized

All week I didn’t watch movies, play video games (including silly phone games), or even listen to music outside of office hours. Television, movies, computers and video games usually take up a huge chunk of my free time, so this left a huge gap in my mind to work on its own . I didn’t get to the point of intentional meditation , but I often fell into contemplation. I meditated in my own way.

In fact, it’s important to give yourself time to just think . Additional time for reflection will help you reduce your stress levels and help you cope with what is eating you. You were bothered by things that you might not have guessed about.

Consider how much of your mental energy is wasted in consuming information. No wonder why your mind burns out so much. You need to stop the incoming flow from time to time in order to mentally digest a little and comprehend what it all means . If you want to meditate, do it. If you just want to stare into space like I do, this will work too. Whether you’re facing personal challenges or creative challenges , the answer to a problem can be in your head. However, if you don’t go looking, you will never find it .

I don’t need a phone as much as I thought

Like most people, I like to keep my smartphone with me at all times. I like responding to text messages, instant messages, and emails. If something explodes, I’ll be ready for it. However, I could not do it where I was. My only connection to the outside world was the Internet streaming from my grandmother’s hut. If I was not in this cabin, I literally would not have been reached. I tried to check in occasionally, but stayed in a separate cabin, where I lived in complete radio silence.

At first I was worried and my “phone separation anxiety” increased, but when nothing exploded after a couple of days, it completely disappeared. In most cases, other people can intervene when you are not available. Something might explode from time to time, but you don’t have to come to the rescue when other people can handle everything just fine. Without a constant stream of notifications pushing you in the foot, you’ll be less anxious about what other people are doing, less anxiety about work, and a lot more interested in the things that are actually right in front of you.

Create your own set of rules to help curb your smartphone habits. Take time each day to be away from your phone. Put it into airplane mode, throw it in a drawer, password protect your frequently used apps, and allow yourself a break from the world. This is especially important at night when you are trying to sleep. You may be missing out on a few things, but everyone did it before cell phones took over and they did a great job. It’s awkward at first and can be a little unnerving at first, but it’s important to learn how to set your own boundaries.

It was nice to define the boundaries of work

Since I could only keep in touch with the outside world in one place, I could only work in one place for a certain period of time. Work did not haunt me day and night, constantly invading my thoughts, no matter what I was doing. I only had to worry about work during normal business hours. I was also with my family, so I had an additional incentive: I wanted to spend time with them.

Work boundaries and limits should already be set , but when you have a job that you care about, it can sometimes be a constant worry. You want to always do your best so that thoughts about work find a way to creep into your mind day and night. Don’t let your work completely consume you. Set hard limits for yourself to avoid stress, and tomorrow you will feel more rested and ready.

Stop working when it’s time to go home . Or, if you’re already at home, set a time and stop when it comes. Set an alarm if you like, but keep track of your schedule. Sometimes you might need some extra work, and that’s okay. Just don’t hit the ground every single day. Constantly overloading yourself can hurt your overall progress, but not help. Work should be focused, effective, and only part of your life. Ditch the things you know will distract you and find the lowest effective dose of work you need every day. Visit with family or friends and postpone work until tomorrow.

I remembered what a dream should be

I try my best to get the rest I need, but like most of us, sleep is the first thing I need when something else comes along. I watch TV before bed, check my phone in bed, and my room is not as dark as it should be. In the hut, none of this was possible, and I slept like a rock. There are tons of articles out there offering all of this , but I forgot how effective these tips could be before they forced me on. Every morning I woke up refreshed and ready for a new day. I wanted to go to bed at the same time every night, and I didn’t even want to sleep when the weekend came around.

However, you don’t have to look for a hut in the woods to get a good night’s sleep. Find a couple of good shades that will make your room as dark as possible. Consider taking the TV out of your room along with everything else that buzzes at night. If you don’t want to take them off, at least leave them alone before bed. If noise is a problem for you, purchase a white noise apparatus or turn on ambient sounds . Earplugs can be a good alternative too.

Finally, make your room a resting-only place. When you have nothing to do in the bedroom, sleep is all you need. Just walking into the room will calm you down and be ready for bed. You can read a book if you like, but make your bed and bedroom your refuge .

Time has become a blessing, not a curse

Depending on how you look at it, time can be something that you have a lot, or something that you never have enough. I didn’t have something in my face always telling me the time, I suddenly had time to work on my passionate projects and I didn’t mind doing any routine work at all. Housework usually bothers me because I have many other things to do that I would rather do, but when there were fewer distractions around, I had all the time in the world to chop wood. It was even … fun. I found Zen in childbirth, which I usually had to pull through. Instead of worrying about how little time I had for a few things, I had a lot of time to do a few things.

You probably feel busy in your life, and while it may or may not be , you probably have so many things that you need and want to do that there may not be enough time for all of them. It’s like you’re in a buffet and you have a plate full of food you want to eat, but you return to your table and realize that you’re already quite satiated. You may not be able to retire like I did and force a clean plate, but you can still empty your plate and get a new one.

If you get bogged down in doing things for other people, tell them no . If you are as easily turned on by passionate projects as I am, pick just one . You can always come back to the rest of the stuff later. Try to limit yourself to just a few things you can do and your time will grow . You will feel less fatigued and more productive . The less you have on your plate, the more room you have to truly enjoy every bite.

I have become much more appreciative of the little things.

Without being distracted by different sides, I found that at the moment I am more present. It seemed to me that I had more opportunities to notice and appreciate the little things in life. What was right in front of me. When I look at this as opposed to my usual routine, I feel stupid thinking about the things that I usually get upset about. I get hysterical when my internet goes off, but I have to be grateful that I can afford it at all. I get upset that my cats are doing cat business, but I should be happy that they love me unconditionally. I’m annoyed at the amount of things to do to make the house look pretty, but at least I need to clean one .

Regardless of whether you can find a way to get away from distractions, you can at least try to be grateful that you have things that distract you. It can be hard to find gratitude sometimes, especially when life has thrown you a lot of lemons, but there is probably something you can be grateful for. Gratitude for what you have will make you happier in the long run. You don’t have to be in a secluded hut to experience this.


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