Hello there, friend!
Every year my godfather writes me a letter for my birthday. And every year it’s hilarious, touching and always comes with a slice of wisdom.
This year’s letter really got me thinking.
It was about how we all talk to phones and other machines more than we talk to actual people. We all live our digital online-lives, getting caught up in a fucking matrix.
Don’t get me wrong – I’d marry the internet if I could, cause I’m crazy in love with it.
It gives us opportunities that our ancestors didn’t even consider possible in their wettest dreams. Yeah, I’m nasty today, but it’s THAT important!
But you know, there’s a dark downside to it as well.
For every digital connection, we sacrifice a REAL connection.
When you’re having lunch with your mom and you’re checking your email every 8 seconds instead of listening to what she has to say.
When you’re on the metro and you’re looking at screens and pixels instead of real people’s faces.
When you’re home alone, facebooking away instead of having a beer with that friend you’ve been wanting to catch up with for such a long time. (We all have one of these friends, right? “Man, we totally need to have a drink and catch up someday!”. And then “some day” never comes…)
I could go on and on.
Point is: every minute that you spend on facebook, whatsapp, email, twitter, pinterest, youtube, 9gag or whatever it is that you’re addicted to… you lose in real life.
The internet is so great because it allows us to access shitloads of information within a matter of seconds. But I wanna encourage you to observe yourself a little bit today:
- How much of this information is necessary for you, your life and your business?
- How many times do you check Facebook when you know you should be doing important things?
- How much time do you waste, clicking, surfing and looking at other people’s freaking food-pictures?
Just think about it.
Me? I’m totally guilty of this!
It’s so easy to get lost in procrastination-paradise.
But there’s one thing that you will NEVER EVER get back: YOUR TIME!
So here are 4 tips for you to get back in touch with your real life and out of the matrix:
1. Unplugged Sundays
Could be any other day of the week too! Just sayin’! ;)
Pick one day of the week and make it your unplugged day. I can see you weeping in pain, but hear me out.
So many of us feel “naked” without smartphones and internet. We feel like we’re totally missing out. We might even feel lonely.
It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it and you’ll see how many other things you’ll get done on your unplugged day. And how you’ll be fully present in the moment. (One of the most essential keys to happiness!)
Switch off your phone, unplug the internet if you have to.
It will give you time to read a book, take a walk with your loved one, paint your toe-nails, whatever.
If you can really pull it off, it will give you freedom.
2. Write someone a letter
Not an email. Not a Facebook message. Not even a fax (does anyone still use that by the way?)
A REAL letter.
Take out a piece of paper and a pen and let it flow. Send off your letter to someone who doesn’t expect it. (which is probably everyone, because who sends letters anyway, right?)
A letter is a whole different story. Much more personal. Much more intimate.
I guarantee you that the lucky person who receives your letter will appreciate it 100-times more than any digital form of attention you could have given instead.
3. Get an alarm clock
Huh? What does that have to do with it?
Well, if you’re anything like me… you use your phone’s alarm to wake you up in the morning.
This has the dangerous side-effect of looking at your phone first thing. I end up checking (and sometimes answering) emails and Facebook before I even make it to the toilet. That’s just sick.
I know I’m not the only one…
So get an alarm clock, go to the toilet, maybe have a tea/coffee and THEN check your phone.
4. Use a physical notebook and calendar
I always do that! I know a lot of people who only have digital calendars and take their notes on their laptop/phone/tablet/schmablet.
I like to keep it real.
Ok, I do digital too, but I roll on two tracks with this one. I always write stuff down in notebooks and my fancy paper calendar as well.
This also makes me enjoy the process more. You can play with colors, add sticky notes and you can skim through your stuff 2 years later and reminisce.
But for me it’s just another way of being present in the moment and choosing 3d-life over pixels once in a while.
I’m super curious to hear from you in the comments:
What’s your number one way of wasting time on the internet?
Do you have other tips to step out of the matrix?
Let’s talk about it and help each other out!
Now I’m off to beg the internet-gods for mercy ;)