Setting Intentions With Screens in the New Decade

Setting Intentions with Screens in the New Decade. This article is reflecting on the noticeable changes in my life since setting intentions with my screen for the first two months of the new decade.

   In January 2020 I decided to start make changes to my relationship with screens and social media. Before 2020, I became aware and disgusted of my screen time since I started using it for “work”. I was just like everyone else, just mindlessly staring at screens every moment of the day. So, why not create a business that I know everyone can relate to? You may not think you relate, but let’s face it, we are all addicted to screens. This article might give each of you a boost to find out that we can still have lives and have screens!!  Let’s see what 10 things I have discovered (or re-discovered) about myself since I started the new decade by setting intentions with my screens.

First Off, Start Small.

  Setting intentions with my screens can be tricky. Start small. The way I began to set intentions was to simply put my phone in a homemade box when I am home. The box is next to an outlet so that I can charge my phone. It is in an area where I cannot reach for my phone and it is also out of sight and out of mind. The next thing I did was to only allow myself access to social media or email 3x a day for 5 minutes a day. Lastly, I thought of two things I would like to try for the month. Reading and being in the present moment were my two. In the first two months of the decade I have already discovered at least 10 things that have been beneficial to my life since setting intentions with my screen. My productivity, creativity and motivation are just a few to note.

Person on phone, mindlessly. Setting Intentions with Screens in the New Decade

10 Benefits to Setting Intentions with My Screen

 I get SO much more shit done!

  • My productivity has gone OUT THE ROOF! My To-Do list is done in a fraction of the time and it allows me to go after more tasks throughout the day. When I open my laptop, I crank out all the important tasks of the day. I am focusing on the task rather than dibble-dabbling all over the internet. Same thing with my phone. When I open my phone now- I go straight to the area I need to go to (instead of somehow pressing that social media app that continues to distract me). By limiting my time on my screen, I am able to start phasing out the old distractions and advertisements that would grab my attention and pull me away from work. I don’t have the urge to reach for my phone and mindlessly open it to see if I have any new notifications. It is in the box- the box that is inconveniently (or conveniently?) out of my way. If I don’t have a box nearby then I leave it in my work bag so it isn’t right on the table.

Reading

  • I honestly was never a reader growing up. I think in elementary school I had a couple summers obsessed with the Series of Unfortunate Events. After that, the only time I liked reading was when I was on my parent’s sailboat. Now, I am very into books that I get annoyed when someone distracts me when I am in the middle of a paragraph or chapter. Jumping back into reading definitely had a slow start. I had been reading one book for a while and many of the chapters just weren’t my cup of tea. I was pretty bored and I wanted more. So I grabbed two new books. What I realized is that I need to be able to choose between a handful of books. I need to be able to rotate books after each chapter if one is starting to be a little dull or my mood isn’t feeling it. Now, I’ll  have three books and I will read 1-2 chapters of one, then move to the next book, then the next. If my mood is into one book that day, I just binge read that book. Rotational reading allowed me to constantly stay engaged with reading. If I only had one dull book for the month, chances are I would read it dreadfully slow and probably quit reading until I was on the sailboat again. I went through 4 books in January and another 4 in February. I now have a running book list. I also enjoy reading in bed now and do not find myself falling asleep as I read!!!
Pile of Books
I often have 3 books going at any one time.

Knitting

  • Well I did it. I finally grabbed the pair of knitting needles and yarn that my mom gave to me about 5 years ago. I start every winter by telling my boyfriend that I am actually going to get into knitting this year. I finally did! It is a slow start. For a good chunk of January, I would knit four rows every night. February was been hard as I was only been home for about 1.5 weeks total this month due to work related trips and family visits. I remember how to knit and how to pearl each time I do decided to pick up the needles. I aim for knitting when I am not in the mood to read or if I am watching a TV show. My hat somehow turned into a cowl neck scarf with some funky patterns.

Creativity

  • My creativity has gone crazy. I was failing myself when I was on my phone all time on Instagram or Pinterest. I thought, ‘Oh that is neat. I’ll just pin it and get to it when I have time’. When I started setting intentions with my screen, I now have more time to actually do it. So, I am beginning to craft all those things I have wanted to craft. More importantly, my creativity for my businesses has increased tremendously. I feel like I am jotting down 10 different business-related ideas a day. Different challenges for the Set It Down movement and different ways to get the audience’s attention. I have created 10 digital prints for sale on Etsy. You can shop them here: Set It Down Shop on Etsy. Go buy one or favorite the item you like and I will send you the digital download for free in exchange for a 5 star review!! I need to keep these creative juices flowing- they feel great! Setting intentions with screens in the new decade can do this for me? How neat!

Organization

  • I found time to organize and clean out my wardrobe. I donated a good bag worth of clothes to our goodwill. That felt great to disconnect with some clothes that I thought I could sell on Poshmark. Instead this “To Sell on Poshmark” pile just kept adding up and not going anywhere. Poshmark is an app that allows you to post clothes for sale. It can be lucrative if you have things like Lululemon, Patagonia, North Face and all those fun brands.  I am also finding more time to organize the garage a bit. It is a mess and spending that extra hour on moving gardening supplies around will be huge in the long run.

Being More Present

  • Walking into the house and putting my phone in a simple box has changed me. I have genuine conversations with my partner again and the conversations stick with me. My conversations are more in-depth. Kind of like how they used to be when you first start dating someone. I am asking follow up questions because I am actually listening and engaged. Before, with a phone in my hand, I was constantly getting distracted because I would feel a buzz. Or, if there was a pause in the conversation, I would quickly open up my phone and check out what I missed in those last 5 minutes. I know we can all relate. I always thought that I was relatively good at this compared to most of my friends. In some ways I am as I have always been strict with phones on tables. I hate bringing my phone when I am out to eat with others. When I am waiting in line or I am by myself in a sitting room, I take the time to look up and people watch. Now a-days, I am people watching other’s foreheads and scalps as they are all on their phones in the uncomfortable silence of the sitting room. Having a smartphone, however, has definitely taken away the feeling of being in the present moment. Setting intentions with screens in the new decade have allowed me to become present, but also realize how un-present most people are these days. If you're a nature lover, you will love this digital print I created on my Etsy shop: Bee Present!
Give Your Dogs Some Love. This is a huge win when it comes to Setting Intentions with Screens in the New Decade
Go give your dog some quality time that they deserve!

Dogs got some lovin'.

  • This one is actually huge. Why do people adopt dogs? For the companionship and the unbelievable amount of love that they give you. Well, we don’t give our dogs the love anymore. I’m serious. Most people walk into their house, maybe pet their dog, and then sit on the couch and scroll on their phones. On walks to let the dogs relieve themselves, there is more phone scrolling. Throw a ball and then you check your phone in between each toss. Taking photos of dogs because they are cute… but what about actually petting the cute dog? When I began intentionally setting down my screens in the new decade, I have been loving my dogs more than ever. Petting them all over, throwing frisbees for them, taking them on walks and runs… but without my phone. My boyfriend played with our dog the other night for an hour! Just throwing a lacrosse ball and wrestling with the dog. He said he seemed like a puppy again! No, he just has a lot of energy and sadly we weren't been loving and playing with him the way we should have been. We used to be more focused on our screens. Go give you dog some quality time. They give us so much love and we just turn to them with our phones.

Cooking

  • Weird. I haven’t cooked much since I was in college. My boyfriend is a baker and loves to cook. He cooks and I clean. This decade, I am cooking more! I think it is because I am so much more productive each day that I don’t come home with a stressed mindset. Instead, I am coming home energized! I can end my work day earlier and plan a meal as well. I am beginning to enjoy cooking again and I am glad I can relieve my partner from cooking duties every once in a while.

Playing Games

  • When was the last time you felt like you played a board game or a card game? For me, I only play games when I am babysitting or when it was a pregame for drinking. Now I am addicted to playing games! We have discovered the joy of playing Backgammon, Settlers of Catan and creating puzzles! Backgammon is great for two people, Settlers of Catan if you have 3-4 people and puzzles are fun to just have out constantly! I love knowing that my brain is getting the attention it needs. I am improving my logical thinking, focusing better than ever before and feeling more creative.
Playing more games! Setting Intentions with Screens in the New Decade allows people to have more time to play games
I love keeping an unfinished puzzle on the table.

Motivation

  • Since setting intentions with screens in the new decade, I have found that am more motivated. I am more motivated get out of bed in the morning. To go workout. To go have a meeting with a person I have never met before. Motivated create more content for work. To feel happy. To eat better. To walk the dogs. Motivated to cook. To read. To hang out with friends. To be me. I am not sitting on the couch with the mind of a person who has been on their phones all day. I am standing up and taking advantage of the day I have ahead of me. When I am on my phone for the first 10 minutes of my morning, I feel like crap. When I wake up and immediately make my bed, feed the dogs, brush my teeth and head out for the gym… well I feel like a Rockstar. What would you prefer- crap or Rockstar?

I'm happy I started when I did.

I have discovered (or rediscovered) a lot about myself since I began setting intentions with my screens. It is crazy to realize what I have lost since owning a smartphone. Start setting intentions with your screens in the new decade, even if you don’t think you have an addiction. Again, start small. One thing to ask yourself is, “What is one thing you would do if you have an extra hour everyday?”. If you begin to set intentions with your screen, you’ll realize you have a lot more free time than you thought. For the next two months, I am setting new intentions. I will use an alarm clock instead of my phone. I will also create more time to go after a new workout goal. Setting Down my phone allows me to create more time for this workout goal as well as for other goals.

Get to it & start setting intentions for your screens!

So get to it. Start setting intentions for your screens in the new decade now!

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