A few times a week to be exact. Not just once while you’re out walking your dog. You need to just go run errands or go to an event or go get dinner without your phone. The benefits to this are pretty endless, but we’ll try to be quick:
Studies have shown that we were not made for multitasking. Yes, our brains can multitask, and in our crazy world it seems necessary, but instead of being able to do 5 things at once successfully, we’re dividing the same amount of brainpower up among 5 things. We’re pretty much multitasking any time our phone’s in our hands – who actually texts or takes a phone call while not doing something else (mindless as it may be) simultaneously?
Therefore, most times you’re (seemingly) mindlessly checking that phone, you’re actually just less available to whatever tasks you’re trying to do at the same time. Suggested experiment: Leave the phone at home every other day for a week when you go out, and compare your efficiency with your daily routine.
Not only is this constant multitasking an issue (and killer of productivity), so is the fact that having your phone on you constantly basically invites procrastination. If you’re trying to get anything done – even stuff you generally find enjoyable like a blog post you’ve been wanting to write or a project that needs finishing up – with your phone by your side, you’ll likely still have that urge to procrastinate. We all do. Having social media and texts at our beck and call only allows us to put even the most fulfilling of tasks off for later.
Having your phone on you constantly also automatically makes you available. If you have to wade through a large volume of calls or emails each day, you know how it goes. We’re not just talking calls, but emails, texts, social media – people can basically request your attention anytime you have your phone. This can be a major cause of stress and anxiety, not to mention disruption. (And if you’re the type that has trouble saying “no” when needed, you’re likely to want to respond to each message when it’s received!)
You don’t have to go off the grid, but ditching the phone when you just don’t need it will make it so you can get other things done – whether it’s work, play, family time, etc. If these aren’t reasons enough, there’s one MAJOR reason to leave your phone at home.
By being constantly connected, you’re actually not connecting at all. While you may be responding to texts or emails, you’re still sacrificing something – authentic, real human contact. At the grocery store, restaurants, in line for an event… Everywhere you go with your phone in hand, you’re missing out on person-to-person connection, even in the tiniest ways. These connections may not SEEM important, but then again, most texts and emails aren’t totally pertinent either – yet you still use all your time on them.
You know the drill. Leave that phone and home, and report back later!