One part of mindfulness that I do at times have trouble with is the ability to put down my phone and disconnect, I am getting better and I am happy to do it every night. Some of my friends may laugh at that and think that I can never put down my phone, this is almost true. What I have been able to train myself to do is shut down the urge to constantly check email, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. etc.
In actual fact, your phone can be a great tool for practising mindfulness, for example:
- Practice resisting the urge to check your phones in meetings or when having a discussion with someone, for messages and emails, not only is it disrespectful not giving the person 100% of your attention, you aren’t fully present and may miss the nuances of communication and interaction between colleagues.
- Resist checking emails when you can’t tackle them. Sitting in traffic, in another meeting, lying in bed, on annual leave… these are all times when checking emails can increase your stress levels and take you away from the moment you are currently in as you may not be able to respond to the request in the email and you can become reactive and stressed. Make some boundaries and be flexible.
- Leave your phone in your handbag/tote/pocket and batch process emails, calls and messages. We live in a world where we feel pressure to be contactable at all times of the day and night. By batch processing calls and messages, it allows you to give up the ties to being contactable and lets you focus on the task at hand. Multitasking not is the favourable trait is used to be, whether man or woman, as the old argument goes. Being able to focus on one thing and do it exceptionally well can produce better results and reduce stress.