So, let’s just cut right to the chase. How do you do it? How do you disconnect in a world that is constantly screaming for attention? How do you avoid the FOMO (That’s “Fear of Missing Out”)?
1.) Be present
The first step to disconnecting is to realize that as long as you are present in the very moment that you are in, you’re not missing out. It’s impossible. In fact, you might even say that it’s others that are missing out on where you are. Except not so much. Since when did everybody all of the sudden have to be everywhere everyone else is at the same time? Recognize that you cannot be everywhere at once, nor do you have to be doing what “everybody else is doing.” Follow your path and if it crosses others,’ bonus.
2.) Resist the urge
Okay, show of hands. How many of us check our apps when it’s not necessary? Try limiting yourself to only opening the app when you have a notification. Give yourself a limit as to when you catch up on posts on Facebook and pics on Instagram. It will help “declutter” your mental space and keep you focused on the important things you actually need to get done. It will also help to keep that FOMO at bay.
3.) Turn your phone off
Okay, I know that this can be extremely difficult when your phone is a security blanket…but try it. When you’re out with people or talking to someone in person, (unless you’re in the middle of a true emergency) turn your phone off or at least put it away out of sight and out of easy reach. It will show the person you’re with that you value their company as being enough and don’t feel the need to supplement it with occasional glances to your phone.
Same goes for work. This is crucial to productivity. When I’m writing, working on other projects or reading, I always want to check the thing as soon as I see that call/text/notification come through. And then you know what happens? I lose my place…literally. Whatever I was deep in that darn phone or social media pull me right back up to the surface. Now I have to figure out where I was and start the long process of journeying back in, which will take a while. Distractions make for ineffective work, no matter what you are working on.
This is especially important when going to sleep. How many of us are exhausted because we check our phones every time we wake up? Turning off your phone while you sleep will allow your body to actually get the full rest it needs without that nasty blue wave light interfering. Worried you’ll miss an emergency? Get a landline and only give out the number to family and one or two close friends that you would want to call you in case of an emergency.
Of course, I’m not saying that these tips are the end all, be all or that you have to do them every day. Maybe once, twice, or three times a week will work just as well for you as if you practiced this every day.
And lastly, be present. Simply be present.
The call can wait. The text can wait.
Your life can’t and neither can your peace of mind.