Offline is the new luxury (5)

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.

Right; so that whole ‘going out without the phone more often’ step didn’t quite go according to plan. There were far too many times when I thought “But I want the kids to be able to get hold of me.” And there were also far too many silly practicalities that stood in the way, such as how it would work when parking the car – after all, that parking app is so incredibly convenient. And wouldn’t I miss having the travel app when I went somewhere by train? So, before I knew it, the phone had stayed in my bag the whole week. And that really struck me hard: the fact that I find it almost impossible to do things without my trusty iPhone by my side. But… I did make a conscious effort to be more aware of how I spent my time. While sitting in the train, I chose to look out the window instead of down at my screen, for example. And I’ve started doing something new, too: I’m putting the phone in flight mode for an hour (or longer) more and more often. One hour offline already feels like a step in the right direction. Being unreachable is much more effective than just turning off the phone’s sound, and it feels a little like playing hooky. And to top it all, those flight mode moments did exactly what I hoped they would do: they enabled the influx of good ideas. I envisioned more, I felt more and I thought more. And occasionally, I felt or saw or thought nothing at all. I just felt silence, stared into space, my mind felt empty and I felt at peace. Those were the best moments this week. Hooray for the flight mode – which I have now rechristened to be the Flow mode. Sounds much nicer don’t you think: to have your phone on Flow mode more often? I wonder what it will bring you!