12th July is National Simplicity Day, a day dedicated to stepping away from the bonds of technology and unnecessary stresses, and enjoying the thought-gathering quiet left in its wake.
So much of our time is taken is taken up every day with jobs, school, workouts, childcare and not to mention all the tasks that need doing when we get home. Add to that, 8 hours and 41 minutes of digital activity, and it’s no wonder so many of us feel overwhelmed.
I don’t spend that long at a screen, you say?
According to a report from communications regulator Ofcom (March 2014), the average UK adult does spend that long each and every day glued to some sort of screen. We all wish for more time, but will gladly waste hours of it on digital activities. Imagine what you could do with an extra 8 hours and 41 minutes to play with every day…
So for this one day, take a step back from as many technological constraints as you can, with these easy alternatives:
Unplug from your devices.
Leave your phone at home. Close down your internet browser. Turn off your emails. Not possible, you say – I work at a computer! All the more reason to keep other technology usage to a minimum. You can cope without it all for one day.
- Set a specific time for checking emails. Very rarely is an email so urgent it needs a response straight away.
- Catch up with your social media another time. You’ll probably find you didn’t miss much anyway.
- If you need a map to know where you’re going, look up directions before you head out and write them down.
- Need to find something out? Do what we did before Google came along, ask someone else.
- Itching for Amazon? Save your money for now, you can always buy it tomorrow if you still want to.
- Take the time to listen to the sounds around you instead of the music or podcasts that keep you wrapped in your own audio bubble.
By giving technology the cold shoulder for a day, you’ll see just how capable you really are at still getting things done even when your phone, laptop or tablet isn’t by your side.
Do something different.
8 hours and 41 minutes of new found spare time. That’s a lot of uninterrupted relaxing you can get done. When did you last sit with a book instead of a mediocre TV show that you were only half watching? We have a break from the World Cup on the 12th and Love Island can be easily caught up with, so you won’t be missing out there. Grab a good book, have a board games night, cook something you normally wouldn’t have the time for, enjoy a long bath, visit friends for a catch up, go for a walk and look at the nature around you, have a nap or catch up on some missed sleep with an early night. Do anything you enjoy that’s non-screen based that will help you unwind.
Remembering to switch off every now and again allows us to experience real life, improve our health and wellbeing, and be available to help (and enjoy the time with) those around us. You never know, you may find you like it so much, you say goodbye to technology forever, or maybe not. Here’s to the start of a simpler life!
Photo by Arjunsyah via Unsplash