Yesterday was day 4 of my social media detox. I think I fell off the wagon since I went on Pinterest.
Do not remember why I opened the Pinterest app yesterday but I did. I then found myself being sucked into a world of infographics of teaching strategies, baby food, and healthy living. This lasted for about 30 minutes.
This morning... Instead of reading my (very heavy) book, I decided I needed something lighter. Went on Pinterest.
Twenty minutes later pins on Spanish class motivational strategies, how to talk to your kids about mental health, and best purée recipes for a 7 month old were added to my boards.
Some would argue that Pinterest is not really a social media network but I think it is. So I deleted the app.
Day 4 looked like this:
Yoga in the morning. Hiking with Tony and Lyra in Watchung Reservation. Read. Listen to my audiobook. Help a friend with her resumé. Be Lyra’s mom (ongoing). Garden. Meditate, twice.
Boredom, restlessness. A little anxiety that I am missing out of stuff (but not sure what *stuff*). Annoyance. Craving connection with people. Wanting to reach out to folks I know and care about and realizing: I don’t have their contact information, I can only reach out to them through Facebook! #grrr
Most favorite thing: none.
I miss the stimulation and the excitement social media gives us. With Instagram, I miss the feeling of curiosity you get when you take a peek into people’s lives. With Facebook, I miss the articles and group posts (like my MOMs club and Fulbrighter groups). Don’t really miss Twitter or LinkedIn.
Don’t miss worthless memes, quotes, pictures of people I don’t know/pets/food/houses/other nonsense. Don’t miss all the political commentary or news.
Today is day 5, and I’m struggling. Feeling the itch. Need to refocus and regroup. Need to remind myself the reason why I am doing this.
Perhaps I need a different book. Perhaps I need to connect more with people. Maybe spend more time gardening. Find a project. Clean the house again?...
Please note that although you are seeing this post on social media does not mean that I am using it. I am still doing the detox. This post is shared automatically via my blog settings.
I can so relate to “get up and walk around” strategy!
When someone finds out that I wake up extremely early (anywhere between 4 and 4:30am), they want to know why. This morning I was up at 4:07 thanks to the Sleep Cycle app that wakes you within a half hour range when it detects you being in the lightest stage of sleep.
So, why?... Why wake up so early?
1. The silence.
I simply love how quiet it is at 4:30 in the morning. Mind you, it’s not a deafening, scary kind of silence but more of a calming, centering kind: a sound of a distant train here and there, sounds of the heating system, house settling and cracking.
2. The productivity aspect.
Such early mornings allow me to focus on what matters the most: writing, reading, meditating, learning, or simply being.
3. The feeling of being ahead of everyone else.
When the rest of the world climbs out of bed around 6 am (on average), I have been awake and enjoying life (in my own way) for about two hours.
Has waking up at this "ungodly" hour made a tangible difference in my life? Yes.
I feel more centered, organized, reflective, productive, and more aligned with my life values.
I strive to live a meaningful, focused, and intentional life
Therefore, reflection and introspection have been the essential parts of my everyday existence. Every week (usually it's either a Friday night, a Saturday [very] early morning, or a Sunday morning) I do a review of the week that just passed. I check-in with myself, evaluate my life balance, review my calendar, goals and priorities, review my Habit Tracker, create a new one, eliminate/delegate unnecessary tasks, and set an intention for the upcoming week.
What's the point?
I do not remember the exact moment but for a while now I have been protective of my time. I would not squander it on people, places, and tasks that are meaningless to me. For example, people that drain my energy, dull household tasks that can either be eliminated or delegated to someone else, books that are badly written, emails that can be answered at a later date/not answered at all, thoughts that bring me nothing but annoyance, and activities that do not contribute anything to the quality of my life.
There was a time when I would burn through my days and could barely remember what I did, where I went, and whether I even enjoyed it! Now, that is not a meaningful way to live... So I started paying attention.
What I noticed...
After observing myself for a few months I noticed that I was spending my precious time on tasks and people that contributed very little to the quality of my life. Tasks, errands, activities, and people that could be a. bundled and accomplished together, or b. completely eliminated due to the lack of meaning they bring. Here are a few examples:
People: Jane Smith [pseudonym]. Feeling she gives me: anxiety. Status: limit contact as much as possible.
Activity: social media. Feeling it gives me: like I'm wasting my life. Status: daily, for no more than 10 minutes.
Task: grocery shopping. Feeling: overwhelm. Status: Stop and Shop Peapod or delegate.
Doing a weekly review provides you with...
... a much-needed perspective, shows where your time goes, and whether you really are living in accordance with your life values. People also call it "an executive meeting with yourself", a "weekly check-in" or "a reflection log."
What You Need
a writing utensil
anything you want to use to decorate your journal (optional).
1. Start by journaling by answering some reflection questions. Do not simply answer yes/no but try to delve deeper:
a. Have I worked towards my goals this week?
b. Who/what motivated me this week?
c. Have I been the kind of person I want to be this week?
d. What mistakes have I made this week?
e. What can I learn from the above mistakes?
2. Review life balance. This means evaluating the physical, mental, spiritual, material, emotional, social, and professional aspects of your life to see whether there is a lack. I literally list things I did to nourish each aspect of my life the week prior. For example:
mental: meditated dailysocial: called Helen financial: got paid; paid student loansphysical: yoga 3xpersonal: date night
Some weeks it would look like this:
mental: nonesocial: noneprofessional: SGOs/4 hours of dissertatingphysical: yoga 1x personal: cooked dinner together
3. Review/reflect on your Habit Tracker and create a new one. I love tracking my habits since it allows me to monitor whether I am living in accordance with my life goals. Below are some sample from a few weeks past:
I then analyze my habits to see the ones I hit, and the ones that were not accomplished since the Habit Tracker gives you an **overview** of your weekly habits. If you look at the charts, you'll see that I have been struggling with reading, walking, and even yoga. Usually, there is an explanation why the habit was not accomplished. For instance, on a week when I have some late nights- I cannot go walking since it's too dark (and I am simply too tired). Another reason I have not hit my walking habit could be is that I am bored when I go for a walk. Perhaps, a good audiobook could help? Something to think about...
4. Review calendar and set priorities. It is NOT possible to get everything done. So I make a list that is subdivided into two parts. Part 1 are my **MITs** (Most Important Tasks). These are your values such as family, friends, work, and personal wellbeing.
Then part 2 is the **Wish List** of tasks that could be dull, should be accomplished nonetheless, and can often be bundled together. Sometimes they can be delegated or eliminated altogether.
Follow up with tenant
Review Navient statement
Write up Finding #1
Quality time with Tony (date night? movie?)
Read "Words That Work"
Apply for teacher grant
The weekly review takes about 1 hour. It's a deeply reflective process that will provide you with perspective and insight - about your own life and time.
I recommend setting some ambiance before you start working such as limiting interruptions, pouring a glass of tea (or wine), lighting a fragrant candle, perhaps even playing some soft music. This is an important meeting--with yourself--that you don't want to miss!