Let me open this post by clearly stating, I am not complaining about people contacting me. I am just reflecting on how crazy life has gotten and how I personally have to set some boundaries for myself when it comes to communication. With that said…
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the absurd number of ways there are to get in touch with a person. This thought has been on mind mind since realizing a few weeks ago I connect with some of the people in my life in so many ways that I can’t keep up with whether I told them something or if I did tell them how did I communicate the message.
I’m going to break down the number of ways I communicate with people. I know running a business adds a few layers to this but I want to lay it out there.
I have 6 email addresses, yes 6. 3 personal email addresses and 3 work ones. I know I could get rid of Jaden09@aol.com but it’s been with me since 1996 so I really can’t. It’s my virtual clutter LOL
I use text messages, Instagram DM, Facebook messenger, 3 different apps for work group/community communications, and the school wants a specific app for communicating. There are 4 apps on my phone that I receive notifications from even though I don’t communicate back with the app and sometimes…
I even call people.
Also, there’s zoom and FaceTime and well…it’s getting overwhelming!
Decluttering the Communication
Remember in the beginning when I said I wasn’t complaining? I’m still not complaining, I love being in touch and feeling like I’m part of any conversation. I just need to step back and think about how to streamline the overall picture and how to set some personal boundaries about how available I am all the time. I honestly don’t want the kids thinking my phone is the most important thing in my life.
So what am I going to do about all the things?
Well for starters, I’m making it a Q4 2021 goal to go from 6 emails to 4! I know…I’m getting crazy over here ???? but for real about Jaden09. It just can’t go, it acts mainly as that “junk” email account and I don’t want all that in my regular inbox. Plus 1996, that’s original AOL, lol!
I will also be working on removing some of the communication from my phone so I have to sit at the computer during office hours, yes office hours, to read and respond to messages. I don’t expect this to happen instantly but it’s a goal and I’m hoping to make it a reality before 2022 arrives.
Speaking of office hours…well I’m setting them! Does that mean I’ll never be available or I don’t want messages when I’m not in the office? NO! It just means I’ll be making an effort to not be available 24/7.
Starting today! Office hours are as follows.
- Mon. 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
- Tues. 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Wed. 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
- Thurs. 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Fri. 9:30 am – 2:00 pm
This isn’t a list of exact times I’ll be working every week, part of wanting to own my own business is for the flexibility with my day to day schedule but it’s a good indicator if you message me when you can expect to reach me and receive a reply.
Be 100% Present
The final thing I’m planning to work on is being 100% present in the moment I’m in. Instead of checking my phone “all the time” I’m hoping to work on putting it down, maybe in another room and not having the distraction of picking it up and taking a peek. When I want to snap a picture or video or if I actually need to see about something I won’t hesitate to pull it out but things like setting it on the table at dinner, keeping it in my pocket when I’m playing with the kids, and sitting at the computer with it right next to me as a distraction are going to be things of the past.
Things I Already Do to Help with Communication Overload
I already do a few things to cut down on the amount of time I spend mindlessly scrolling and constantly picking up my phone. Here’ a short list of a few things that have helped me get to this point.
- ALL notification are off
- Email push is off. I have to go into my email to see new messages, they don’t just pop up
- 1 hour limit on Instagram/Facebook apps daily, I have to put in a code to get access if I use my hour
- Alarms set up for things I do everyday. Since my phone is my watch, I use this to not have to check to time constantly to be sure I’m not going to be late for school drop off and pickup (and other things like this)
Tips and Thoughts
I would love to know what you think about communication overload and what tips/tricks you have for taking a step back from technology and the number of ways we stay connected!
Good luck with your attempt to be disciplined! I hope the best for you.
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