Enough with the digital fasts, people. Unplugging from the Internet is not the way to find a better balance between life on- and off-screen. That’s why I’ve written a new post for Headspace — the folks behind the mindfulness app — on 5 better ways to reclaim your online sanity. Here’s one:
If you can’t put down your phone, commit to 5 minutes of boredom. Thanks to the invention of the smartphone, we no longer have to experience the agony of waiting for three entire minutes in a bank lineup with nothing to do, or staring out the window for the 90 seconds before our lunch date shows up. As nightmarish as it may sound, however, human beings have not only survived five-minute periods of boredom for thousands of years, but have actually benefited from having that kind of empty time.Boredom helps us tap into our creativity, our desire for meaning, and our inner awareness. To ensure you have access to the benefits of boredom, set a rule that you won’t take out your phone unless you have at least five minutes of vacant time stretching out ahead of you. Tech strategist Leda Dederich first suggested this practice to me about five years ago, and I’ve found that whenever I can stick with it, I not only feel more creative, I also rediscover the sense of spaciousness that comes from not cramming every minute of your day with productivity or entertainment.