Most days I’m very desk-bound. I’m at my computer from 9-5, then a little break for dog-walking and supper, then back to a screen, whether Netflix to relax, iPhone for social media or laptop to do some more work.
Last month I was on holiday and decided to go scroll free (or digital detox as it was called then). I put my laptop in the cupboard, and hid my phone. Luckily I have a husband who was there to alert me to any family WhatsApp messages and a team who promised to look at my inbox and phone my husband (that’s how seriously I was taking it) if there was anything I really needed to deal with. I was only doing this for a week. It felt too much of an imposition on others to do it for longer.
But, what a week it was. After I got over the voice in my head which said ‘let’s look that up’ about every fifteen minutes, I started to relax. In seven days I read five great books, swam in the sea three times and took the dog for long walks. In the evenings I played cards, decluttered our holiday home and had creative thoughts. The days seemed wonderful... endless and relaxing.
Here's the problem... I’m not sure how anyone without a partner or team can do a Scroll free September. It’s truly impossible unless you don’t care about friends, family, colleagues and clients. You become selfishly out of touch.
What you can do is take simple yet powerful and valid steps. You can keep your phone off until you get to work. You can turn all things electronic off after work. If you’re feeling brave you can even turn everything off for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon so you can get on with some creative thinking during the working day. If you want to cut out social media do it. I kept going on Instagram because I enjoy taking and finding photographs and it takes me a minute to post, but you don’t even have to do that. Look at the BBC headlines, ignore reading the articles, or only look at social media for an hour. Set yourself limits and keep to them.
Scroll free September may feel like it’s beyond your wildest dreams, but Scroll lite September certainly isn’t. Never thought I’d hear myself say this, but it’s time to channel a little Simon Cowell and ditch your phone.