Week 4 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
Week four of 'The Great Wake Up!' experiment required me to unplug. Unplugging meant switching off all of my usual digital notifications - those on my mobile phone as well as on my tablet.
When I watched the videos for each of the first four experiments a few weeks ago, this was the one I was looking forward to the most. Switching off my notifications was something that I really, really wanted to try. My mobile phone and tablet play a BIG part in my life and I spend the best part of each day with either one or the other (sometimes both) in my hand. It's not an exaggeration when I say that much of my life revolves them. I am constantly checking them, messaging, looking things up on the internet, browsing social media, emailing etc etc. So this experiment was definitely something I was keen to try, to see if it was even possible to cut some of these ties.
Despite my reliance on my devices I thought this would be easy. Switch off my notifications? Simple. All I had to do was press a button, right? All great in theory, but in practice it proved extremely difficult to create the distance I was hoping for.
Surprisingly I found the first day the easiest. I switched off my notifications and managed to spend most of the day away from my phone and tablet. I put them in another room and told myself that I was only going to check them at certain intervals. And much to my surprise I stuck to it. Piece of cake!
It wasn't until the second day that my resolve started to waver. Although all my notifications were switched off there was a tiny voice in my head that was taunting me and saying things like, 'Preeti, what are you doing, what if you are missing out on something huge?!' and 'what if someone is trying to get hold of you?!' And of course, me convincing myself for that brief moment that I was the most popular person in the world, immediately believed that there could be a string of messages piling up, and even if there wasn't, I should probably check....just in case!!
This pattern continued for the remainder of the experiment, and as the days went on I found myself checking more and more frequently, although admittedly nowhere near as much as I would normally do. What I discovered was that my habits in this area are so ingrained that it would probably need longer than four days to try and get on top of it. So I've decided to try this again soon. Already, in these few days, I can see that the experiment was giving me more time to focus on other things. Things that I wanted to do but was so easily distracted from doing by my phone and tablet. So I can definitely see the benefits of this and am going to keep working on it.