I am starting a challenging experiment: seeking ways to reclaim my brain and creativity from the attention economy. I’m not overly tied to my phone. I’m not on facebook and the only reason I have a twitter account is viewing things other people send me, yet I still see the effects. Youtube is a rabbit hole I have trouble escaping and I compulsively check email even when there’s zero urgency to do so. My morning and bedtime habits are where I really get stuck.
The biggest impact I see is that I have trouble reading for long periods without falling asleep and my fiction writing has utterly dried up over the last year. I also have trouble getting up and going to sleep when I intend to because I surf in bed. Sure, the pandemic has had an impact on things and I’m accounting for that. Even so, I can do better for myself.
So, I’m working out how to reshape my wake up and bedtime. I’m starting with something simple: using my old phone by my bed instead of my current phone. My old one is an iphone 6 and still works well. I was using it up until last summer. I’m recharging it as we speak and it will be stripped down to have my alarm, meditation apps, music, and a few puzzle games (because insomnia is a thing and they help). Basically a device I don’t mind having by my bed.
My phone will also get a few things stripped off it and I’ll have it at hand less often. There’s honestly only a handful of apps I use regularly and even a few of those are bad for my attention.
My hope is that I can replace that literally wasted time with more intentional time on my laptop, more reading, more journaling, and a better quality of rest. I’ll keep you all updated if you’re interested in how it’s going.