What to do instead of picking up your phone
We all pick up our phone when we shouldn't. It's a bad habit. Here's what to do instead
1. Pick up a beverage
You probably aren't drinking enough water anyway. So keep a glass or bottle of water near you and pick that up instead.
2. Write a letter or a postcard
I write letters still. And they are awesome. I even wrote @JamesAltucher a couple postcards during a certain period of my life.
Writing and sending handwritten letters are GOLD in this day and age. No one does this. And when the person you're writing to gets a letter -- they are surprised and delighted! It's so fun to get "real" mail -- something other than bills and ads.
I keep a stash of postcards already stamped on my desk. That way all I have to do is write the message, write the address and walk to the mailbox!
3. Pick up a book or a magazine and read that instead
You have some books around you, right? Pick one up and start reading. Even if it's not the one you're currently reading.
Having poetry books around you are great for this, because it doesn't really matter if you read a poetry book in a linear fashion.
Ditto magazines or the physical newspaper.
I buy the NYT on Sunday and spend the whole week reading it.
My brother is an amazing juggler. And I couldn't juggle but I wanted to.
So I bought myself a cheap set of juggling balls on Amazon and just started to teach myself.
There are a million "how to" videos on Youtube -- all you need are the balls.
Tennis balls are a good substitute. Try them
I've been working with a performance psychologist for 2 years now and one of the major things that he talks about is the technique of visualization.
Visualization is the skill of being able to imagine yourself / see yourself doing the thing you want to do.
The key to visualization is doing the imagining in as much detail as you can. Smell the smells, hear the sounds, see what you would see, feel what you would feel.
Spend 1 minute visualizing doing the action that gets you what you want in life, instead of picking up your phone.
6. Memorize a quotation or a poem or a part of a famous speech
I had to do this when I got a vocal surgery and couldn't talk for 3 months. (Another story!)
As I was re-learning how to talk, I could only speak for like 5 minutes/hour ... so the way to regulate that was to memorize poetry.
I've since gone on to memorize more than a dozen poems -- some really really long.
I recite them at weddings and dinner parties and on long hikes or around campfires. It's a fantastic party trick!
Pick a great quote or a poem you love and start working on memorizing it -- instead of picking up your phone.
7. Stand on one leg for 1 minute
Balance is key to longevity.
Can you balance on one leg for a minute?
If you can -- do it with your eyes closed, instead of picking up your phone.
8. Do 10 pushups or 10 sit ups or 10 jumping jacks
The point is -- what tiny bit of physical exercise can you do, instead of picking up your phone.
9. Clean up one part of your environment
Instead of picking up your phone -- take out the trash or wash one dish or straighten up your desk.
Take one action to make your environment neater or cleaner
10. Write a list of 10 ideas!
Had to add this meta one, of course!