For one week in September, Team Ridiculously Efficient went on a partial digital detox. Every night at 8pm local time, we set out on a mission to put our phones away, stay away from social media and stop checking emails.
Long story short, I completely failed.
Two weeks ago, I received a promotion at Disneyland and my free time has been turned upside down. I have been working 9- to 10-hour shifts, and have been forced to complete all of my other work and responsibilities afterwards and in between.
When I am working for Disney, I am pretty much unplugged the entire time that I am there. I'll look at social media during my 30-minute lunch or one of my task-free fifteen-minute breaks, but other than that my phone is away for the entirety of my 8- to 10-hour shift.
I made a conscious effort to avoid productivity suckers like Facebook and instagram, however. It is crazy to me how much social media platforms have also become resources for business. I utilize it to reach cast members at Disney and, more often than not, find myself searching for a business' FB page before visiting their full website.
Each evening, as 8pm approached, I was filled with anxiety and the feeling that I was going to get in trouble for using my cell phone or computer. However, after 8pm was one of the first opportunities that I had to complete my work. Despite my feelings of being busted, it also lit a fire under my ass and I got done what I needed to more efficiently instead of the usual scroll, scroll, scroll syndrome of FB and IG.
I'm only able to fully unplug when I'm ready to put my feet up and call it a day. This is when I am most relaxed and feel good about my productivity. I was also able to unplug when I was working my hot glue gun making handmade cupcake wrappers for DeCuffa Cakes.
When I did put my phone away, I often had the feeling that I've lost something. It's almost like I felt naked without the feeling of my phone in my pocket or within my peripheral vision. I know that I'm not crazy and others feel this way, too. Our phones are the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we look at before sleep.
I use my iPhone for so much nowadays. It’s almost impossible for me to get by without using it. I have all of my accounts linked to my device and when I’m not using it, I am practically helpless!
And, I have terrible self control when it comes to limiting social media. I literally have to hide my apps in folders because sometimes I pick up my phone and open social media without even realizing. When I have them hidden in folders I can easily remind myself not to open those apps because it is harder to locate.
I enjoyed this challenge, but it was difficult for me. At times I would get mad at myself, but I knew that it was not the end of the world and I celebrated my weakness. I was happy when I was busy with my hands being crafty. I often leave my phone turned screen down so that my eye does not catch a glimpse of the screen.
I would love to unplug more seriously but the timing has to be right. This detox came at a very busy time for me and that added to the struggle. I can see myself being able to fully detox in November, but anything before then is going to be a challenge.