When it comes to your mental health, more is not better. The environment is ripe with stimulus. Information is everywhere. Technology opens up unlimited possibility, which includes unlimited distraction.
I have spent a great deal of time organizing my digital systems. And I keep coming back to my offline approach. It’s not that I don’t enjoy all the bells and whistles that technology can offer, but because I feel more sane the simpler my systems get.
One of the simplest approaches I have started again is simply keeping a notebook and pen on me at all times (resisting temptation to record and organize tasks and notes with my phone .) And simply TRANSFERRING these notes or tasks by end of day to my digital system by taking photos or writing down any relevant notes in my online journal.
Another simple offline hack I use is an eye mask and ear plugs. Combined with the notebook and pen it’s an unstoppable way to use my brain more efficiently.
Rather than working things out on a screen.. I do it in my mind.. which gets more clear the longer I wear the eye mask and reduce the stimulation by also reducing the sounds from the environment around me.
When I do have ideas , I jot them down in my notebook and get back to the eye mask. This simple yet effective hack has increased the amount of time I spend meditating or in contemplation significantly. As it creates a kind of intentional barrier between ME and the external world, and reminds me to stay focused as I have to actually remove the eye mask and ear plugs to return to the normal world.
Compare this with simply having your eyes closed. Not only is it easier to open your eyes and get distracted with something but it’s also easier to get interrupted as most people interpret eyes being closed as meaning you are just ready for their concerns. With an eye mask and ear plugs you can be a little more detached from worldly concerns and not as easy to interrupt as you can conveniently appear to not hear them. Now I just gave my secret away!
Getting back to the simply things: unplugging, spending more time in nature, carrying a notebook and pen, going within it’s the help of an eye mask and ear plugs— and transferring all your great ideas to your digital system for implementation at the end of the day, are just some of the ways I maintain an offline system that works to increase my mental health and sanity.
Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!