Murray Speaks | What Downton Abbey teaches you about your phone!
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What Downton Abbey teaches you about your phone!

What Downton Abbey teaches you about your phone!

Mrs Patmore and Daisy have been up since the crack of dawn preparing breakfast. You sit down to eat toast, porridge and kippers in barely identifiable gravy and then it happens… ring!! The bells from upstairs call and being a servant you jump up, breakfast eaten or not and attend to whoever is pulling the string.

Do you drop everything when your phone rings or a notification bell has you jumping to attention… are you a servant to your phone?

Being controlled by a digital leash is one of the fascinating challenges of our time. This device designed to demand your attention can infiltrate every aspect of your life, first thing in the morning, last thing at night. What did you do before you had a mobile phone? As with all technology it’s a bit like a knife, in the hands of a skilled surgeon, phenomenal, in the hands of someone with nefarious intent, not so good.

A growing body of research looks at the impact of our devices on how we work and live; it can be alarming to read. Does it impact your thinking, your ability to focus, your ability to achieve quality sleep and peace of mind? How much valuable time do we waste? There is still much to learn so it may require your own assessment to make sure you have a healthy relationship with this demanding taskmaster.

One of the principles is to remove triggers that make you look at your phone, almost involuntarily, many times a day. Research shows we look at our phones 50-80 times a day which can grow to 100’s of times! It’s really an advertising device on which we communicate.

Here are 7 ideas to help break the chains of your digital leash. There are others and things you need on your device for business reasons so do your own audit with the intention to improve your personal effectiveness, health and wellbeing.

  1. Switch off the notification bell on your email. You will see you have email on your screen and not twitch every time something arrives in your inbox
  2. Put your phone to sleep at night, happily recharging somewhere outside of your bedroom
  3. To avoid overconsumption of news, use the block feature, make a list of news sites you frequent and block them from your phone. You can catch up via your computer if you need to
  4. Plan the occasional technology free day and enjoy your analogue world
  5. Use your device to empower your psychology. Listen to audiobooks and podcast’s that support your goals and inspire your thinking as you commute and exercise
  6. Nurture your off line skills and relationships, friends, family and always be reading a book
  7. If your phone rings when you’re speaking with someone you love, let it ring. When they ask if you are going to get it, just say “let it ring, I’m talking to you.”
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