Monday, 1 October 2018

Scroll Free September - How did I get on?

And so Scroll Free September is over! How did I get on?

I challenged myself to stop scrolling on my phone in bed, both morning and evening, and after 3pm. I conceded that I did need to check some notifications during these times for my social media work, but the idea was to avoid mindless scrolling and time wasting.

I'm really pleased with how well I managed the challenge! I must admit that it didn't happen overnight, and it has taken almost the whole month to get to a point where I'm happy with the changes that I've made. Although I still find myself picking up the phone when I have a few minutes to waste, I've become so much better at resisting the urge, and that urge has definitely diminished.

In the last week or two I've even started a "putting the phone to bed" routine at around 7pm, just before I start putting the children to bed. I sync my FitBit, check for and install any app updates, then I close my browsing windows, delete my history, shut down all my apps, and switch the phone to silent. Just as I come up to bed I do a quick check for missed calls and messages without turning it on, then I put it in my bedside drawer. It might sound odd, but it has really helped to draw a line under my phone use for the day. If I need to check anything online, I can use my desktop PC, although I've started trying to turn that off too in the evenings if I don't have any work to do.

What have I been doing with all that spare time? Well I've completed two jigsaws - the one pictured called The Cake Shed which I'll be reviewing on the blog shortly, as well as a very challenging double sided one that I hadn't done since I was a teenager!

The Cake Shed jigsaw from Ravensburger

I have also really ramped up my reading. I've not kept track, but I must have read at least ten books this month. At the start of this term I decided to make the effort to take the children to the library once a week after school which has been great for all of us. I've been reading every night before I go to sleep, and dipping in and out during the day when once I would have reached for my phone. I've also been sitting with the children during their reading time before they go to sleep, trying to model some good habits.

I also bought a book of Logic Puzzles which I used to love when I was younger, with Sudoku and similar puzzles. I love how you can almost feel your brain working as you try out different possibilities in your head.

I've not missed out on anything, and I've discovered that you can catch up social media quickly by logging on a couple of times during the day, you don't need to be scrolling constantly. My problem now is that I still get too easily distracted when I'm sitting at my desktop PC and trying to do some work. My main problems are Facebook, BBC News and Twitter. I still need the social media for work so I can't block the sites completely, but I might look at a blocking app for Chrome to try and limit when I can access the sites, or the amount of time that I spend on them. Maybe that will be my challenge for next month!

Scroll Free September logo

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