HOW TO GO DARK (AND INCREASE HAPPINESS)

By Ally Kennedy, Founder of Amiga

 

I am going to out myself and share something personal here. I am a phone addict. My husband has been saying it to me for months, but I refused to admit it. Between mindlessly checking my work email and other apps, I have lost entirely too much time on my phone. When I put my phone down, I will still think about going to check it. My mind has become very chaotic because it is constantly distracted. It has been hard to accept, but now I am ready to make changes. I know I can't be the only one, so I wanted to share my journey with you in the hopes that maybe you can relate.

 

Over Memorial Day weekend, I went dark. I committed to it. It was liberating. I felt present with my son and my family. My mind was still and not constantly racing. I had less anxiety and had more fun. I felt more like myself again.

 

Here are some tips to help you do the same:


1. Unlink your work email from your phone

 

By having your work email on your phone, it gives you an excuse to check it because you are "working." There is likely nothing urgent that is going to come by email. If it is urgent, someone will call you. Even an important email can usually wait a couple hours for a response. Also, by constantly checking email it makes everything an emergency and you are constantly lost in responding.


2. Delete all Social Media Apps

 

Social media apps are mindless time suckers. They make it too easy to log on and waste time. Notifications are constant interruptions to your day. You can get in and out of work faster if you stay off of social media phone apps, and you can be more present at home if you don't check them when you are with your family. I know that this is common sense, but for me it was really hard to let it go. I had to get rid of them all to stop the mindless phone checking.


3. Turn your phone off

 

Nowadays almost no one turns off their phones completely. We so often hear that we could "miss" something if we turn it off. By turning off your phone all together and leaving it in another room, it requires that you be more mindful about checking your phone. Let's face it, going into another room and waiting for the phone to turn on just to check Facebook for 5 minutes does not really feel worth it.


4. Use airplane mode when you're out

 

When you're a mom, you want to capture those special, adorable moments with your kiddo and a phone serves as the easiest camera. However pulling out the phone to take a picture makes it easy to "send a quick text" or "write a 2 second email" or "do a quick stroll through Facebook/Twitter/Instagram." By putting the phone on airplane mode, you can enjoy the moment with your little one for much more than the picture because the phone won't interrupt your special moment.

 

Anyone else trying to break the phone habit? What tips do you have to share?


About your Ally in Life, Business and Law:

Alexandra "Ally" Kennedy is a national award-winning attorney and the founder of AMIGA Lawyers and Alexandra Kennedy Immigration Law.. After becoming a mother, and in a matter of 3 months, Ally transformed her practice from earning in pesos to earning 6-figures and she is passionate about teaching attorneys how they can do the same. Ally empowers lawyers to be the CEOs of their law firms with her weekly blog, webinars, and conferences where she teaches step-by-step how to do the work they love while running a profitable legal business. Ally lives outside of Seattle with her partner and their 5 children.