This morning I was up, ready and out on time. I was feeling good and confident despite the drizzly weather. Then, I realized I forgot my phone. Oh no. Panic set in. My heart-beat picked up and I tried to think through if I had enough time to go back. I didn’t.
Right then, I realized how silly my reaction was and decided I was going to see how I fared without it. I can do it. The first few minutes were still full of angst as I wondered about any missed calls or texts that would be waiting for me. I thought about being completely unreachable and about not being able to reach out. But, I pushed on determined to somehow make it through the day.
Thinking through the rest of my day, I realized I didn’t have my calendar. I would have to go from memory until I could get to my computer. In thinking through the day, I wondered about the rain and reached for my phone to check the weather. Nothing there. I would just have to plan for the worst case and prepare for rain.
At my first meeting, I got a new to-do and reached again for my phone to add the task to my to-do list. Ugh. Again, no phone. Oh well. I will have to try and remember it and then remember to add it to my list later.
For the first few hours, I found myself feeling restless and feeling for my phone in my back pocket. I am not really sure why. I knew it wasn’t there but I was doing it just out of habit. I realized that I really didn’t even have a reason to reach out for it but would do so anyway.
I was talking to someone who asked a question I couldn’t answer but I knew who would know. I instinctively reached for my phone to send a quick text to find out. But, without my phone, I instead continued with my conversation and honestly staying focused instead of being distracted proved to be quite enjoyable. I also recognized that I didn’t have to send the text right then. I could do it later.
Without my phone, I didn’t check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn but I also didn’t miss out on any big news or event either. While my email messages certainly piled up, going through them at one point later in the day wasn’t as overwhelming or as time-consuming as I had imagined. In fact, as the productivity experts claim, it was certainly a lot more efficient to do it all at once instead of checking it constantly throughout the day. If only I could stick to this every day.
As the day went on, the less I missed my phone and the less I reached for it. I finally relaxed and felt at ease. I could do everything I really needed to even though I wasn’t able to do all the things that I had wanted to do. Most importantly, I survived the day without any incident or negative impacts.
I hope I forget my phone at home more often.
TRY THIS OUT: You know what I’m going to suggest and I also know you’re shaking your head. So, just think about it. How about putting your phone in the other room for an hour or so? How about taking a walk or attending a meeting without it? Then, try leaving it at home for a longer period of time. How does it feel? Can you survive without it?
After 25 years in the corporate world, working at Lotus Development, Ernst & Young, The Weather Channel and Play On! Sports, Monisha Longacre has founded her own company, Productivity101 and created priorigami: the art of productivity. Her mission is to provide simple, actionable and easy-to-use tools to help busy adults track, prioritize and complete tasks, to better manage their time and become more productive. She designed priorigami to be the "Fitbit" for productivity to help people lead more meaningful lives.