Priorities; Part 2- My Top Tips

By Louise Ballantyne // On February 24, 2020

Did you do it? Did you prioritise you? If not, don’t stress; hopefully the below tips will help.

1. Lose the technology. This is the deal breaker for me hence the length of this oneI don’t think it matters what you do for a living or whether it involves social media or not; we all spend too much time on our phones or tablets. Before we even properly open our eyes, most of us have reignited our relationship with our smartphone. Our alarm goes off and we reach to the bedside table to switch it off. Many of us then start scrolling social media, playing a game or reading the news before we even pick up a toothbrush. Then, we use them in the car to navigate from A to B or to answer business calls, we scroll again as we sit on the bus or train and we realise how quickly the battery has gone down and it’s only 11am. Breaks at work often involve very little real chat with colleagues and when you look around the staff room, it would be weird if someone didn’t have their phone in hand, only looking up and getting involved in conversation if their name is mentioned. Then when we get home in the evening, we spend more time catching up on the days events while we make dinner, workout in the gym or play with the kids. Then when it is time for you to chill out and have some you time, you run your bath, light the candles… and take your device with you. You put that film on you’ve been desperate to see but your phone is on the arm of your chair and no sooner has it started, without even realising, it’s back in your hand and you’re reading an article about life hacks you will never use, watching a video of someone falling or trying to decide what colour a shoe is just because it’s trending on LadBible. Then before you know it, it’s bedtime, yet you aren’t tired so you plug your phone in to the charger beside your bed and start reading or watching something to ‘help you get to sleep.’

This might seem a bit extreme but I would genuinely put my months wages on it, that everyone reading this can relate.

Have set times for social media. Plan it in your schedule for certain times throughout your day or use an app to limit time spent. When I get up in the morning, I used to start scrolling and watching Insta stories before I even got downstairs. Now, I make my coffee, read a few pages of my book then do the Omni social media posts. Then only if I have time before the gym or work, I allow myself no more than 10 minutes in the morning.

Move your chargers. Don’t have one beside your bed or by your spot on the sofa. These spaces are for chilling out so don’t be tempted to use your phone. Plus, if you use your phone as an alarm clock and it’s at the other side of your room, you’re less likely to press snooze!

Leave your phone in a different room. Once you’ve finished work and had your scheduled time for social media, leave your phone in a different room. If a device is part of your chill time; the Kindle app for example, either use a different device with all the distracting apps removed, or use an app like OffTime or AppBlock to stop yourself from getting distracted. When I have my shower in the evening, I leave my phone in the bedroom, come downstairs and do something else. If I need a device for films, books or podcasts during this time, I use my tablet which has no social media, no emails or WhatsApp etc and I’ve noticed a big difference by doing so!

Have a phone ban. Whenever you are doing something with anyone else; date night, coffee with friends, dinner etc; make a promise to yourself and the company you’re in that you won’t use your phone, other than if there’s a photo opportunity. That being said, photo opportunity doesn’t mean instant uploads and then continual checks to see how many lovehearts you have. Take the photos and wait til you’re no longer in company. If you can’t stop yourself, buy a disposable camera and leave your phone at home.

2. Spend more time doing what you love and less time doing what you don’t. I’m afraid that might mean saying no to things! For some of us, that’s a hard thing to do. We want to please everyone and make sure others are happy, but if something isn’t bringing you happiness, should we be doing it?

3. Make time to be alone. Whether that’s a long shower or a short walk outside, it’s so important that you have a chance to think, reflect and reset. We get caught up in the daily hussle and bustle of life so it’s important to take a moment to breathe and relax.

4. Loose the guilt. There is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed about putting yourself first. You are not being selfish. You do not need to justify yourself for indulging in something you enjoy. If everyone lost the guilt, nobody would ever feel guilty!

5. Love yourself. Do things that make you feel good about yourself; wear make up, work out, eat well. Whatever makes you feel good inside and out, do it! Remind yourself every day that you are amazing because the better you feel about yourself, the better others around you will feel.

6. Be positive. Acknowledge and appreciate the people and things which are positive and uplifting. Show and remember that appreciation and commit yourself to that positivity.

Finally, remember there are only three things you can control and change; what you think, what you say and what you do!

Remember, there is only one of you in the entire universe. Prioritise YOU.