It was 9am and I had already been on the phone for almost two hours. I knew the rest of my day would be more of the same. I ducked into yoga just to get away from it for ninety minutes, but all I could hear was bzzzzz, bzzzzzz, bzzzzzz. Was I really getting that many text messages in a row? Ninety minutes later, I really did have forty-five new text messages, six new FB messages, eighteen emails and three voicemails. I was glad my Vetiver oil and Savasana had me calm or I probably would have had an anxiety attack. It was 10:30am.
My phone is my number one tool for my job, it goes everywhere I go and is a huge part of my life. I’m not kidding. A few weeks ago, I freaked because my battery was only lasting two and a half hours. The guy at the Apple store laughed at me. “Sorry to say, Miss, nothing is wrong with your phone. You just go through more data than I’ve ever seen.” He’s ever seen? Seriously? He works at Apple! Now I have three batteries, plus my charger and I can’t leave home without them.
My phone makes it possible for me to do business on the go, so that I can have flexibility in my life, and be able to spend time with my daughter and husband. But the phone also gets in my way all the time. I’ve taken conference calls with an earbud in my ear while giving Madeline a bath. Not good. I’m there with her, but… not really, you know? It might be like going over homework with the news on for you. Or playing Candy Crush while you’re on the phone with your mom. We’re there, but not really.
I can’t not answer it either. If I don’t respond immediately when clients contact me, I run the risk of losing them. It has happened. I quickly became a slave to my phone. I hate to confess it, but I have been ‘that girl’ who’s texting during Savasana at yoga. It drove everyone crazy – my husband, people around me. It drove ME crazy.
Now, I could give you a list of “NO PHONE RULES.” Like:
Rule #1: No phones at the dinner table
Rule #2: No phones in the bedroom
Rule #3: No phones at yoga class
But that’s not realistic. I’ve tried to implement these rules myself, but when I’m dealing with people in different time zones, I have to be flexible to that too.
Besides which, a list of rules really isn’t going to get to the source of the issue. Communication is. @HayleyHobson (Click to Tweet!)
My phone is probably the source of half my arguments with my husband. We had to have a really honest conversation about cell phone usage. We laid it all out. I need my phone to have the flexible lifestyle we’re building. But the phone interrupts intimate moments and he often feels ignored. It impacts our daughter. We both groan when we hear it chiming at 11pm.
It wasn’t a pretty conversation and it will not end all of our arguments, but he got clear on how integral the phone is to my business and I got really clear on how important it is for me to not be tied to a computer to make my living. And we both got really clear on how technology impacts our lives.
So here are the three things that I think you need to do to have your phone NOT rule your life.
1: Take an honest look at why you are using your phone. Do you really need to be that connected? Is keeping up to date on social media adding to your life or taking away from it? If you discover that you are using your phone to put distance between you and other people in your life, that might be pointing to a larger issue in your relationships.
2: Communicate and compromise. In the grand scheme of things, arguing about a phone is pretty silly. Talk to the people who you’re impacting by being attached to the hip to technology. Really understand that impact and find common ground to compromise on.
3: Lay some ground rules and boundaries – for yourself AND for your clients. I literally cannot be in the same room as my phone in order to have space from it so I won’t hear that little buzz telling me I have work to do. I can’t bring my phone to yoga with me. In my world, sitting down with my family for a meal is a rare pleasure. I leave my phone in the car, to be completely present when we do. But the people who expect you to be available 24/7 – remind them that texting at midnight or 5am isn’t appropriate. They’ll get it. I know they will.
I’ve just given you some great advice for balancing your life with your cell phone. Got tips and suggestions you’d like to share? Post your suggestion here!
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.