Over the last few months, I’ve been trying hard to give myself moments to stop and think. This means quiet time where I’m not using my phone where I can leave my mind to wander.
The advent of the smartphone and my increasingly prolific use of it has helped me lose any time where I might stop and think. My excuse has been productivity but of course a lot of that productivity is playing games or reading news. I’d write in my journal and believe that this reflection was giving me the correct time to think. The times away from my phone, I force myself to be bored, allow me to better reflect back on the day. It gives me open time to let my mind wander to the topics that are most important to me at that time. These aren’t recorded like my journal entries and I appreciate that time more because I have no way to bring up my thoughts.
The best example of this change is when I go for a run. In the past I’ve typically brought my phone or iPod along with me and listened to music or podcasts as I ran. I used the excuse that the music pushed me to run harder and the podcasts entertained me during the long runs. Now I leave my phone at home and track my run on my watch. Having nothing but the monotonous task of running sets the perfect background for me to do nothing but be bored and think. To spend the 30 minutes running with myself.