One of the biggest challenges when it comes to beating information overload, is simply escaping the incessant bombardment of notifications, entertainment and stimulation. It’s no wonder we’re all so wired and tired when we spend our days writing against the clock under sterile lights fuelled by coffee and our evenings blowing things up on an even bigger screen!
Sometimes you need to inject a little quiet and some natural light into your routine and this can give you a lot more space to be calm and to be yourself.
Here are some tips to help you do that:
Half an Hour Before Bed
One very good habit to get into is to take half an hour before bed to wind down and to read a book or something. During this time, you simply make the rule that you will not use your smartphone and that you won’t look at any screens.
Now I know what you’re thinking: you don’t have time to spend half an hour without your screens. My answer is that you do – even if it means going to bed half an hour later! If you can’t manage half an hour, try for 15 minutes first. The point is that this will help you to sleep better anyway, so consider it an investment.
Reading is particularly good because it requires sustained attention – something that we’re not always so good at any more. If you don’t want to read though, then try writing a journal instead.
Go for a Walk
Going for a walk will give you time to think and to get some fresh air.
Once again, you’re probably thinking that you don’t have time for this. Once again, the key is to work it into your routine.
This time, look at things you can do while walking – or look at making existing walks a little longer. Do you walk to the bus? Then try leaving five minutes earlier and taking a nice detour. Do you call your friend once a week to catch up? Then why not do it while walking around the block?
If you can find 10 minutes to practice some meditation in your day, then it will greatly increase your ability to focus, to combat stress and to keep your mind calm. A great app to help you get started is ‘Headspace’ but you can find lots of tutorials on YouTube as well.