Recently I’d been consuming too much social media and TV that resulted in great physical and mental burnout.
I knew deep down that it was bad, hindering performance and affecting my overall well-being.
I had no choice but to do damage control and was inspired to take a NO challenge.
Instead of viewing it as quitting something I loved permanently, I approached it as conducting a temporary experiment and opened myself up to the possibilities of what would be on the other side.
NO Social Media and NO TV (NOSNOT) for Two Weeks
I knew there were benefits but what immensely surprised me was how immediate they were. Some of them included:
- Increased willpower. The first morning that I didn’t consume social media I got to work without procrastinating. There was much less resistance.
- Increased capacity. The second day, I wasn’t planning to workout but I ended up doing so because of the sudden inspiration from increased capacity. I had more left in me at the end of the day than most days.
- Increased productivity. During the two weeks I ended up finishing 3 books. Whereas normally it would have taken 1 – 2 months.
The key element that made this challenge run quite smoothly and fuelled it to success was that it was tailored to my natural personality rather than forcing myself into a cookie-cutter challenge mould.
The tailored structures included:
- Two weeks instead of 30 days. To me 30 days is a long time. Mentally it is overwhelming. Therefore I decided to go with something less permanent for me. Two weeks was perfect. Just enough to see results but also to treat it as a short fun experiment.
- Keeping everything straight forward and just plain simple. When I started this challenge I didn’t set any strict guidelines, delete any apps or even go to the trouble of announcing this challenge and building in accountability. Because of this I was able to just start right away instead of overthinking everything and getting into a paralysis by analysis rut, which would have resulted in losing the whole challenge before it even began.
- Flexibility, keeping an open mind and no strict enforcement. During the challenge, I would forget that I wasn’t suppose to look at social media but it had become such a habit that a few times I accidentally (automatically) opened it on my phone. Oops. I didn’t see it as a failed challenge instead, acknowledged the peek, savoured the moment and closed it after 5 seconds. Just like you do in meditation. Not to shut out all thoughts, but to acknowledge the thought and simply go back to the state of meditating. Therefore I didn’t get too worked up about accidentally doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. The challenge was still on.
Getting a Bit Bored
Day 7 I was getting a bit bored with no social media and TV therefore decided to try an idea. What would happen if I allowed a cheat day, one day of the week? I decided to test this out. The locks were off. Instagram. Scroll. Skim. Scroll. The faster this went. Interesting. This is what everyone has been up to. Food Porn. Yum. Scroll. Skim. Faster and faster. I stopped. I was only on day 3 of the missed Instagrams. Is this the excitement that I once could not miss? I took a moment to pause. Taking a step back. It didn’t seem as interesting, exciting or missed as it once was 7 days ago. Instead it seemed a little bit overwhelming. Ploughing through all the information in order to identify the good from the bad. Just like the overwhelm you get when you are beginning market research and gathering, sorting and analysing the mountains of data. The same thing happened when I opened Facebook.
I am defiantly going back to the NOSNOT detox.
From here on everything just got easier. No longer was desire pulling me towards social media or TV.
Day 14 hit. It wasn’t until night time that I realised this was the last day of the challenge. Oh. Already. Wow. I suppose I can go back to everything tomorrow.
Day 15. Open social media. Scroll. Look. Scroll. Look. Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. So much clutter. Too much clutter. Close. Before brain explodes.
Not worth my time anymore. Not worth investing the limited time I have in clutter I no longer care about.
Beyond NOSNOT Day 14
I do still find joy in social media and TV but this challenge has opened my eyes to all the wonderful possibilities on the other side.
The structure of NOSNOT with one cheat day a week has worked well and I am happy to have it stay and see where it takes me.
However this time round I am going to be more selective about how and what I consume. Instead of consuming everything that comes up, it’s consumption only if it’s a HELL YES!
Take a Challenge Personally for Yourself
NO X for X days. Keep it simple. Treat is as an experiment instead of something permanent and see what the results are and where it takes you. You might be surprised about what you find.
. . .