My week without a cell phone

If you are like me, you can’t bear the thought of not having a cell phone and staying connected via social networks at any moment of the day. So you can imagine my anxiety when I lost my cell phone. However, I can honestly say that I had an unexpected reaction to not having a phone – I was strangely relieved and that feeling last 5 days, until I got a new one. During that time without a phone, I had more major revelations and moments of self awareness.

Here are my revelations and insights:

#1 Creating a quiet space for myself in the morning where I simply set intentions and express gratitude made me less anxious, more productive and overall happier throughout the day.

I have never been one for mediation – although I am committed to starting the 21 day Deepak Chopra challenge this month. So by “quiet space” this was actually the time in morning when I walked my dog Puggy. I normally check emails on my phone while walking Puggy and as the walk progresses the more my mind races with my “to-do” list and faster I want to get home and start working – thus setting the pace for a frantic and anxious day.

#2 Not checking my email (on my phone or my computer) until at least 930am set the stage of a more efficient work day.

I set priorities of emails I needed to deal with and actually got through more messages in a calmer and more focused manner than what was normally the case. I attribute this to the fact that I started my day in a “quiet space” and being completely disconnected. My mind wasn’t already racing before I checked my email.

#3 I started thinking about my health in a more proactive way.

I always have amazing intentions of eating healthy, juicing, working out, etc, etc, but do I ever take consistent action? Not really. I feel like I am always pressed for time and running from one appointment to the next or preparing for my next call. I always feel rushed. And I can tell you that last week I actually felt more balanced and I started creating strategies for implementing healthier habits. I even went for a run one morning…..and that was a major accomplishment for me!

#4 I had a mental breakthrough with a toxic relationship from my past.

Admittedly, I had not completely “healed” or forgiven certain people in my past. Last week, I took serious action to forgiving a few people in my past that brought much disappointment and anxiety to my life. I faced my emotions regarding the situation in a way that I had not done before while on one of my long morning walks and I set clear intentions for moving forward with my life. And you’ll never guess what happened…..I ran into one of the very people I had just silently forgiven, and I actually thanked her because I would not be where I am today if I had not gone through what I did. While speaking to this person, I felt completely at peace and genuinely joyful.

Why do I think that any of the above had anything to do with not having a phone?

Because I started each and every day disconnected from noise and distractions that fill my World via emails, texts, social media, etc.

I started my days by consciously shifting my thinking to a space of gratitude and self awareness. In addition, I was even able to squeeze in a few Chapters of a business book I wanted to read which led to some clarity and inspirational moments as I reflected on the content of the book throughout the week. And even more powerful, I took time to set clear intentions and goals for my work week. Through the action of not checking my phone at every “ding” I would hear, I believe this led me to be more aware of opportunities that presented themselves to me during the week and opened the space for me to heal the ones that were keeping me stuck.

Now the “kicker” for me is that Meredith is a big advocate of not checking your phone or email until at least 10am. Meredith leads by example as she goes for a run every single morning and starts her day in serious self reflection while openly expressing gratitude. I’ve known this consistent ritual that Meredith is committed to for a long time now….but for some reason I could not take action and apply it in my own life. And to add insult to injury, I’ve read many articles and books about the common denominators among successful people and not checking your phone and/or email until at least 10am is a common trait among highly successful people.

So the lesson here is that our phones and emails may be sabotaging our success. I no longer will allow technology to control the start to my day. I am committed to staying disconnected for as long as I can in the mornings so I can mentally set a strong foundation for the rest of the day and the work week. I received too many “ah-ha” moments last week and noticed a distinct change to my thinking patterns which transcended into my actions. I can’t ignore that I was highly productive and had some major personal and professional breakthroughs…and the only change to my routine was the absence of my phone.

Your Assignment:

Make a commitment to not check your phone or email for at least one day this week until 10am. Go for a walk, make a healthy breakfast, read a book, journal, workout, express gratitude – whatever you choose to do, make sure it is something that allows you to be quiet with your thoughts. We all need to slow down and with the holiday season upon us, perhaps now more than ever we need to practice disconnecting from technology so we can stay balanced and healthy. Good luck!

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