Offline is the new luxury (3)

Time spent on your smartphone: how could you pass it more wisely? And what exactly does it do for you? Each Friday, Irene, who together with Astrid is the founder of Flow, writes about this particular issue.

Okay, so it’s worse than I thought. I kept the seven-day diary that I talked about in last week’s blog – you know the one we had featured in our ‘Offline for 7 Days’ notebook in the Dutch Flow about how much time you spend online? My conclusion: I look at my smartphone ridiculously often. Except when I’m sitting in a meeting (though, if the meeting is boring, I do end up taking notes in my notebook and surreptitiously checking my messages as I do so). But the ‘Offline for 7 Days’ notebook has done what was intended: given me more insight into my patterns, which is leading me to address a few things. Last week, I naturally planned to have two hours phone-free each evening, but that failed I’m afraid (sorry, I’ll try again soon).

This tip from the notebook seems more feasible: ban the phone from the bedroom. So I treated myself to a really lovely alarm clock and have gone back to listening to the birdsong in the morning, or the rain pitter-pattering on the roof. In any case, what is clear to me now is that I don’t want to start the day with [Dutch news website] and check Facebook to see if something happened overnight. And – perhaps more importantly – when I get into bed each night, I read a book as opposed to checking my inbox before I go to sleep. It feels like I have given myself a present. Crazy right?

P.S.: This is the alarm clock I treated myself to. Nice, isn’t it?

Illustration: Isabelle Schippers