Can you believe it’s September? 😱 Between event craziness at work, Hurricane Dorian, and an unexpected 8-day trip to Washington DC (recap coming soon!), I decided to take a much needed break from blogging for the past few weeks. Coincidentally, this happened to align perfectly with my Happiness Project goal for August: Take a digital detox.
If you’re a new reader (or a new blogger friend I met at FinCon last week — hi there!), let me catch you up to speed. In honor of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, I decided to embark on a happiness project of my own in 2019, choosing a different theme each month to focus on. In previous months, I boosted physical wellness, created outer order through decluttering, practiced mindfulness, slowed down, made time for friends, focused on learning constantly, and finally reset my physical health.
For the month of August, my focus was Digital Detox. To do this, I planned to incorporate the following:
- Ask yourself “why” when you pull out your phone.
- Choose periods of time to power off.
- Switch to airplane mode during workout times or other tasks.
- Use an alarm clock instead of your phone.
So how did I do? Well, friends, I didn’t toss my phone out the window or delete any time-sucking apps, but I did use the time to become more mindful about the way I consume technology. I’m the girl who scrolls Instagram on her phone while watching TV while going on a Wikipedia binge from her laptop. (Yes, I’m that talented. Imagine if I used that level of multitasking for good!) The month of August was a good opportunity for me to reevaluate my tech usage and take a step back.
Choosing times to power off was extremely powerful for me. During my time at the gym or while working on time-sensitive projects at work, I set my phone to airplane mode or turned off text notifications. For a huge chunk of the month, my phone was on silent 100% of the time, which made me less likely to jump to answer text messages or even check social media because it was out of sight, out of mind. I was not successful when it came to setting up an alarm clock (and I still definitely scrolled from my bed in the mornings), but I felt like I made major improvements in screen time for the month of August.
For the month of September, I’m focusing on Working Smarter. I plan to incorporate the following practices:
- Observe “Happier Labor Day.”
- Declutter work space.
- Go outside.
- Send one positive email per day to thank or praise someone.
- Pursue professional development opportunities.
What are your goals for September? Have you embarked on a happiness project? Sound off in the comments below!