Tuesday 28 August 2018

Identifying my trigger points for scrolling

It's not long now until I start Scroll Free September! I've already been trying to make some changes since I signed up, in particular taking a look at my typical scrolling behaviour. I've been trying to work out my particular trigger points for scrolling, and thinking about how I can divert myself away from my phone, ready for when I start the challenge for real.

So during the course of a typical day, this is when I reach for my phone...

First thing in the morning - my children wake me up a little before I actually need to get up, so I have a few minutes to lie in bed before I start the day. I reach for my phone because I want to see if I've missed anything overnight.

Alternative - either rest in bed with my eyes shut (aka go back to sleep!) or simply get up and jump in the shower. As a bonus, this gives me a head start on the before rush. Then I can catch up with any important notifications or e-mails while I eat my breakfast.

While waiting around at home before I need to go out - I'm always early for things, so I often find myself ready to go out well before I need to leave the house. Scrolling through my phone helps me to waste those last few minutes.

Alternative - think about what my first task will be when I get back home and do something to make that easier - e.g. if I'll be making lunch get out the lunch things ready. Or else tidy the area around the front door, put shoes away etc.

While procrastinating - sometimes I find it difficult to settle to a task and I'll procrastinate by scrolling through social media, all the time feeling more anxious when I think about the work that I'm not getting done.

Alternative - if it's an urgent task then I've always found setting a timer to work well. But if I really can't concentrate I need to find myself something else to do, whether that's housework or something crafty, and come back later when I'm in the right mood.

While waiting in the car at school pick up - I'm always early for school pick up and usually have ten minutes or so to wait in the car.

Alternative - walk to the school the long way around to get some extra fresh air and exercise. Take along a puzzle book (I've recently rediscovered Sudoku and other logic problems!), I could even get one to keep in the car.

During swimming lessons - swimming lessons are so boring, and stressful!

Alternative - take a book with me instead. Also, this coming term the children are in the same swimming class, so I'm hoping that I can swim myself while they have their lesson.

While making dinner - I seem to spend ages making dinner and lunchboxes every night, and it's easy to pick up my phone while I'm waiting for something to cook.

Alternative - wash up and put things away as I go along. Clear and clean the kitchen counters and other surfaces.

While children are getting ready for bed - there's so much faffing with getting the children ready for bed, and I often grab my phone as it's a way of switching off from the chaos.

Alternative - keeping a book handy to turn to, using the time to tidy upstairs and help the children to unwind by reading with them and talking to them.

In bed in the evening in bed - I think that this is a part of winding down after the day, as I use the mindless scrolling as a way of switching off. The irony is that it's well known that it's not a good idea to use your phone before bed because it actually disrupts your sleep!

Alternative - reading a book in the bed is the obvious one, and I could also have a bath or shower to help unwind beforehand.

When Ram is away - Ram will be away for some of September. The trigger point here is when I'm in bed at night, sometimes I find it difficult to switch off and get to sleep so I find myself scrolling through my phone until late so that I'm really tired.

Alternative - I have some films lined up to watch during the evenings and I'll work on some cross stitch while I'm watching them. Having a bath should help me to relax before I go to sleep, and I'll make sure that I've got some good books to read. Often when Ram is away I stock up on junk food, but as I'll be watching what I eat this September maybe I'll spend the junk food money on some new books!

Something else that I need to do is to get in the habit of leaving my phone in one place when I'm not using it. We have a bowl in the kitchen for keys so I'm thinking I'll place it there when I'm in the house and hopefully because it's not on me all the time I'll be less tempted to pick it up.

I'm hoping that having come up with these alternatives in advance I'll find things easier as I start the month!

I'm taking part in Scroll Free September

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