In this final week of the Simplify Your Life Challenge, we’re taking a look at one of the biggest challenges for many people when it comes to simplifying: distractions and electronics.

These two things have become such a huge part of most of our lives that they seem inseparable from living for many people. Any time we have a spare second, we reach for the phone or open a browser tab on the computer. It’s a part of our nature now, right?

Well, there is space for change. And in fact, the simplicity you can get from creating space for solitude, quietude, and undistractedness is quite profound, well worth the effort of creating this change.

You’ll love it.

I’m going to dive into the suggestions for this week, because I don’t think you need a lecture on why too much screen time and distractions are evil. We know what effects they have on us, and that is especially apparent as we start to simplify our lives.

So here’s what I recommend for this week:

  1. Create spaces of enforced disconnected time. Today, set aside time to think about how you might use a block or three of enforced disconnected time. That means that you plan it ahead of time and enforce it by not allowing yourself to be connected (leave you phone behind and get outside, or turn off wifi or shut off devices if you’re inside). For example, lately I’ve been taking walks without using my phone, or spending some time first thing in the morning meditating and reading a paper book before I start using my computer. How might you use these blocks? Now plan for them, and try them out.
  2. Create undistracted focus sessions. Set aside time during your day to do 2-3 focus sessions, where you work on meaningful tasks without distractions. That means using fullscreen mode on an app on your computer, or something similar, so you’re not constantly switching between tasks. It might mean putting your phone into airplane mode and turning off your wifi or getting a site blocker so you aren’t tempted to look things up or procrastinate on your favorite websites. However you set it up, go into the focus session with a meaningful task to do, and don’t let yourself do anything else. It can help to set a timer — for 10 or 15 minutes, for example. Then for that 10 or 15 minutes, you can only do one thing.

The key for both of these is to truly savor the undistractedness of the focus session or disconnected time. Really find the deliciousness in the simplicity of it. It’s a gift we rarely give ourselves — how can you appreciate it fully?

Share how you’re setting up your disconnected time and focus sessions in the #simplicity channel on Slack!