Hello everyone! It’s been a few days since I was here and I will tell you why. No, I wasn’t tired (or exhausted), too busy, had so many things going on at work etc. These may be the most spoken words of our time, and I have definitely used them too, but I actually took a few days off to celebrate some personal milestones, and to be completely present in those moments. That’s not to brag about how ‘present’ I was in my life, but to say that it felt strange and old-fashioned. And very relaxing. I have almost forgotten how awesome it is to not expect yourself to be in two places at the same time- mentally present in your life, and in your online life. I think it’s become second nature to us that when we are having a joyful moment offline, we are also mentally composing our social media picture and the witty/grateful words that will accompany it. I don’t have much of a social media presence as an individual (just as Collectivitea), but I still do spend considerable amount of time online and beyond what is required for my work, I am finding it tiring and distracting. So after reading a number of articles on this topic (online, of course!), I have made some changes in my daily routine. One, I am trying not to check email the minute I wake up. Let’s face it. For different reasons (maybe you are on-call, have work related expectations, provide long distance care for elderly relatives etc.),
many most of us have our phone on the nightstand. If that’s a smartphone, then of course, you are going to check email when you wake up, and sometimes even in the middle of the night if you get up to drink water or go to the bathroom. To improve sleep hygiene, I am trying to not check my phone at all. This is a work in progress but I already feel better because I can go back to sleep more easily, and my eyes don’t feel tired within an hour of waking up. Two, I limit my time online by setting a timer– get online, write for Collectivitea, do social media shares, do other online stuff related to running a business, respond to emails, and done. I do this for set periods twice a day. The amount of time that I spend online can vary depending on the day and I am working on more efficient time-management. There is other work-related screen time, but I try not to get on the internet. Three, I need some time everyday to be creative. Whether it’s writing, photography or journalling, this time is absolutely necessary to unwind and recharge. In the past I have felt like a hostage to my schedule, but I now consciously create this time for every day. Of course, it helps that the kids are older. However, I think I could have done this earlier if I had thought of myself less as a victim of circumstances and took more charge of my day. Four, I take breaks for meals. I don’t browse my phone when I am eating. We did all this before the advent of the internet, and I am just relearning it. These are not long breaks, but just that I try to focus on doing nothing but eat in that time. Five, I go for an hour-long walk everyday.
The last one is also what I think of is one of the most important habits that has helped me reach goals and indirectly, has had a great impact on my leading a more present life- six, write things down. Write down what you want to get done this day, week, month and year. (This article helps break it down.) Writing things down also gives you more insight into what you want to do with this life, both in the short and long term.
How do you lead a more present life? Share your stories and suggestions in the comments below or by email. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!- Priya
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