Tap tap tap.
Like a mindless robot, I became a slave to my phone.
I scrolled on my Facebook newsfeed and felt guilty.
I should be working on something else.
At the back of my mind I tell myself just five more minutes then I’m out. One and a half hour later, I’m still on my phone tinkering. Meanwhile, my article is undone, tasks unfinished, and my to-do list crying for attention.
Every time I wake up, I’d grab my phone – it’s the first thing I do in the morning. It’s also the last thing I see before sleeping. Sometimes my husband gets jealous over my phone. I am that addicted.
And I’m not proud of it.
Over the past few weeks, I started asking myself, “Am I still the same person as I was before?” The person who looked forward to journaling, blogging, reading? When was the last time I held a Bible? I can’t even remember. Reading spiritual books now bores me. But staring at Facebook for hours kept me engaged.
Something is wrong.
I have to change. Lest I become a person I know I wouldn’t be proud of. I don’t want my future kid to see me constantly glued on the screen.
I need a timeout.
The Day of Rest
There’s no one else to blame but myself. I let myself get lost in the abyss of the internet. I forgot my dedicated times for prayer, took for granted the times and days I should be spending with my family. Most of all, I took the Sabbath for granted.
God made the seventh day to give us a day of rest. But even on this day when I’m supposed to fill my mind with spiritual thoughts, I’m glued on my phone thinking about my online business, reacting to Facebook headlines, or caught up with email.
This happened not only because the internet kept me engaged but because I forgot to surrender everything to God. I took the reins of my online business with my own hands and forgot to surrender it to God.
And it’s draining.
There are days when I feel like I’m just running in circles. I told myself, “Enough.”
It’s time to make a conscious effort to live intentionally. I want to wake up every day with a daily purpose and make God the center of everything I do.
So I made the decision to be more conscious of my time. Instead of dilly-dallying, I need to guard my to-do list and writing time, to dedicate a specific time of prayer and meditation. To learn to live my life unattached to my phone.
1. Close shop from dusk to dusk
I’ll be offline from Friday, 6 pm to Saturday, 6 pm and allow myself to dedicate the Sabbath day as a day of rest and meditation.
As someone who is almost always online, this sounds like a joke. But I realized I need to set my own boundaries.
Everything has its own place and time. I can do all my work for the remaining six days of the week and allow myself a rest on the seventh.
If you don’t celebrate the Saturday Sabbath, you can dedicate a day when you stay offline for a full 24 hours.
2. Dedicate my first hour in the morning praying and journaling
I’ve seen first hand the benefits of journaling. I’ve mentioned how journaling helped me when I was in deep pain. I think it’s a great time to start doing it again.
3. Guard my schedule
I created a customized daily planner and calendar that works for me. I’ve been using this planner for over the past couple of weeks and I’ve seen improvements in my productivity. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still developing healthy habits of getting things done. Not easy for a procrastinator addicted to the internet. But with God’s grace I know I can do it.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
4. Step away from the computer and mobile phone
It’s a shame having to admit that I’m addicted to my phone. But I know the first thing one must do to solve a problem is that to admit it exists.
I’ve been making conscious efforts to detach myself from the internet. I’m not perfect, and I’m a work in progress.
I wish I’m writing this blog post saying, “Here’s what I did to be productive and still spend quality time with myself and my family.” With God’s grace, I pray that blog post will be written soon.
For now, I need to hit publish, step away from my computer, look up, and see the beautiful things around me.
I hope you do the same.
Go ahead, stop reading, and look up.