I came across a blog post today about how smartphones are actually decreasing our happiness factor. I recall before the iPhone hit the market, I avoided the “smartphone” trend for the main reason, when I work, it would be at my desk. I didn’t want my downtime to be affected by the feeling that I had work to do all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I am full fledged iPhone user who is connected 24/7, but with the experience of it, so is the wisdom of the addiction and trying to keep it at bay. Not just for myself, but for my family and friends that I want to make real connections with. Below are highlights of their points and my thoughts on them:
1. Explore new territory. When we fill our downtime with digital research and games… we stop exploring in the physical sense. Instead of playing on our phone while we wait for a meeting – why are we not taking the time to walk around the neighbourhood or even talk to the person sitting next to us?
2. Going to bed earlier. This is one that has so many benefits, outside of improving body metabolism waking up with a solid sleep has a huge impact on creative energy and output.
3. Journalling. This is one that I have been prodded by my business coach to do more of. I know for a fact that when I do take the time to write down my thoughts, I actually find clarity and focus that I would otherwise not find as I distract myself with social media feeds and the latest emails. It is amazing the creative ideas that just pop out of your head!
4. Crafting by hand. Being creatives, we do creative work digitally all day – and that is because we love what we do, but doing it more than 8 hours a day is draining. I recently got a gig working with the Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine and have attended a couple “scrapbooking retreats” where no work was allowed. I have to say, working with my hands at a craft I love, has been giving me new creative ideas and insights into looking at my digital work. So whether it is paper, thread, metal, ceramics or yarn… a tactile hobby/craft can benefit you in many ways.
5. Reading actual books. This is the perfect example of downtime. Escape in a fantasy or read something that expands your view on the world. Yes you can do this online – but the fact is, the tactile sense and paper read is a more relaxed and better way to absorb information compared to a “screen”.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are in regards to offline engagement.