Shaheen Rajan - Girl using a mobile phone

Boundaries. Probably one of the most subjective words in English language. It hardly ever means the same thing to two different people, even if they are related by blood.

When I returned to social media after a short hiatus to figure my whizz out in Jan 2019, I came back with a few rules. We all know how easy it is to slip up and spend a gazillion unproductive hours a week on social media channels (yes, I am looking at you, Instagram). Scrolling is one of the most evil inventions of mankind and I wanted to draw a line this time to make sure that I don’t get sucked into the dark side all over again.

You might know by now that I LOVE lists, so to tackle this problem, I also made a list, or more like a five-point action plan, to be less busy and more productive. I kept the rules rather simple, on purpose, so that it is easier for me to stick to them. And as there might be a few (or tons) more people out there who struggle to strike the balance, I thought to share them here. It can be potentially useful for those of you who’d like to decrease your screen time and increase your productivity.

  1. Turn off notification alerts for all social media and email accounts – these seemingly harmless pings are what prompts you to pick up your phone in the first place.
  2. Don’t sleep phone by your bed side. Get an alarm if need be.
  3. No phones during lunch and dinner.
  4. Remove apps that can be accessed from desktop/laptop.
  5. Keep mobile data and wifi off during work and/or leisure hours.

Here’s a challenge for you. This weekend, allow yourself to get bored for an hour or two, and do nothing about it. Do not pick up your phone, turn on TV, meet friends, or do grocery. Just remain bored. Use your mind actively. Let it wander. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to allow yourself to stay bored. If you do try, let me know how it goes.