Taking Back Control of Your CrazyBusy Life

Do the words Crazy Busy sum up your life? Are you increasingly wrestling with the issue of what to do about what’s happening and how to cope in a distracted, disconnected world?  Then l invite you to listen to my mini podcast on “Taking Back Control of Your Crazy Busy Life” and learn how to focus on what matters most to you.

I’m also including more practical strategies below from my book: CrazyBusy. These tips can help you  take back control of your time, learn how to use electronic devices responsibly, and reestablish the human connection that is all too often missing.

Coping in a Distracted, Disconnected World: Taking Back Control of Your Crazy Busy Life

1.   Education. First, take an honest assessment of how the use of electronics and technology has taken control of your life.

  • Are you texting friends or colleagues while sitting next to them instead of having a face-to-face conversation?
  • Are you spending too much time interacting on Facebook instead of hanging out with friends?

Involve your family in the discussion. Point out how you grapple with the over use of technology and ask them to assess their use of electronics as well. To get the best outcome, it is essential that all family members be involved in managing screen time.

2.  Set a goal of how much total time should be spent each day on electronics.  Then break the total goal into time categories: how much time where, doing what, with whom.

3. Plan daily periods of abstinence.  These “brain breaks” provide intervals of time in which no electronic device may be turned on.  Yes, this will be difficult for you at first.  So try beginning with 10 minutes twice a day.  Then increase that time by 10 minutes a week until you reach 1 hour a day or whatever goal you all want to achieve.

To go one step further, plan a “de-tox” day over the weekend.

Reserve a Saturday or Sunday, during which you and/or your family has absolutely no electronic usage whatsoever, except lights and appliances.  No TV, no phone, no Internet, no video games, no iPad.

Get the family or your friends involved in planning the “de-tox” day. You can play a board game, go for a hike, visit a relative or family friend.  Other suggestions are to volunteer at a community event or any other ideas the family comes up with. The point is to plan something that doesn’t involve any electronics.  Then have fun reconnecting.

4.  Make it a goal to restore the healthy habits that over use of electronics often disrupts:  First of all, get more physical exercise, especially outdoors.  Try eating family dinner together. Figure out how to enough sleep.  Finally, have some uninterrupted face-to-face conversations; pray or meditate.

5.  Replenish daily your dose of the other Vitamin C, Vitamin Connect.  Overuse of electronics depletes one’s store of the human connection. Spend time having a face-to-face conversation with people, uninterrupted by anything. Likewise, try banning electronics when you’re out with friends or during dinner.  Having face-to-face conversations with others is an important step.

6.  Monitor progress together.  Set time aside each day or weekly to see how everyone is doing.  What difficulties are they having? What difficulties are you having?  How does everyone feel about this?

Conclusion

Setting goals to limit the use of electronics and helping each other achieve those goals can be a family and/or friend project. Of course, it won’t be easy, but don’t give up. Your success in addressing the overuse of electronics one strategy at a time will lead to your success, and a lot more joy for the entire family.

Adapted from CrazyBusy Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap!   Ballentine, NY, 2006

CrazyBusy App

 

Let Dr. Hallowell help you manage your CrazyBusy life. Download for FREE his CrazyBusy Tips APP for iPhone.

An Ode to Autumn

Swirling around, swept into the air like dry leaves before a great storm, we’re tossed about by forces we invented but no longer control. The wind rules, picking us up and taking us where it blows. Busy. Fast. Wired. Going who knows where. Welcome to our crazybusy world.

Today I encourage you to take a few moments to pause and reflect on the beauty that surrounds us – the colors, the crispness in the air, the sunshine and more. Listen to my Distraction mini podcast “An Ode to Autumn” and learn why Autumn is my favorite season of the year. What is yours?

Are you saying to yourself,  “I’m too busy to pause and take in the colors of autumn?”

If yes, then click here to learn how to take back control of your time in this Crazybusy world.

For those of you who like great poetry, I recommended this poem by John Keats in my podcast:

To Autumn  

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinéd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
T
hou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barréd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
T
hen in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Distraction Season 4 starts August 27th

Exciting announcement! Join Dr. Hallowell and his wife Sue Hallowell for the brand new Season 4 of Distraction Podcast coming tomorrow Tuesday, August 27th!  You can listen to the episode at www.distractionpodcast.com  

Distraction,” is the podcast hosted by Dr. Hallowell.  These podcasts offer hands-on advice and famous and fascinating guests share their experiences and methods of coping and connecting. While Dr. Hallowell has helped millions free themselves from the distractions and tendencies of ADHD, he now extends that same sound and accessible guidance to anyone suffering from the harried pace of modern life — whether at home, at school, in the workplace, or at play.

Click HERE to get Dr. Hallowell’s 10 Key Principles to Focus in a World of Distraction and other Resources for managing your crazybusy life.

 

 

Burned out? Learn how to take back control!

Screens are sucking up so much of our time that people aren’t able to do what they really want, said Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist who lives in Arlington and runs centers focusing on ADHD in Sudbury and around the country. This can put people in “survival mode,” making them impulsive, angry, inflexible, humorless, and unproductive.

“It’s exhausting to live a disconnected life that doesn’t have meaning,” he said. “Now more than ever . . . you have to be able to say no. You have to be able to say, ‘I’ll get back to you on that.’ ” The Boston Globe

Learn more tips on how to “feel less busy” here.

Crazy Busy? 3 Steps To Take Back Control

Is your life feeling a little too hectic these days? Then it’s time to un-busy yourself. In Distraction S3 Mini 12, I share 3 easy ways to feel less busy and regain control of your day.

LISTEN NOW and learn how to combat the feeling of busyness and get in a state of flow.

If you need more tips on taking control of your time, try my CrazyBusy iPhone App for FREE. It will give you a high “worth-it” factor by providing you with possibly life-changing data that you have never looked at before.

Crazy Busy? 3 Steps To Take Back Control

Crazy Busy? How to Take Back Control

Technological innovation has changed our world more profoundly than anything since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.  This change has brought both spectacular progress and devilishly complex problems.  New patterns of behavior are now epidemic a person checks their iPhone, email and texts at least once every 90 seconds and wonders why people complain they can never get your full attention. As a result, we are increasingly wrestling with the issue of what to do about what’s happening and how to cope in a distracted, disconnected world.

So if your life is feeling a little too hectic these days? Then it’s time to un-busy yourself. In Distraction S3 Mini 12, I share 3 easy ways to feel less busy and regain control of your day.

LISTEN NOW and learn how to combat the feeling of busyness and get in a state of flow.

If you need more tips on taking control of your time, try my CrazyBusy iPhone App for FREE. It will give you a high “worth-it” factor by providing you with possibly life-changing data that you have never looked at before.

Learn more tips in: CrazyBusy: overstretched, overbooked, and about to snap! : strategies for handling your fast-paced life.

How to be Cool, Calm and Collected!

Are you too busy? Stretched to the breaking point? In a state of constant frenzy? You’re not alone. In our 24/7, technology-driven world, it’s easy to lose control. Take a break now to   “Listen Back” and learn how to leave the F-state (frenzied, forgetful and furious) and get back to the C-State (cool, calm and collected.)

DISTRACTION,” a podcast hosted by Dr. Hallowell, has more tips on how to tackle life’s most difficult subjects like raising children, forgiveness, stress and anxiety, the workplace, teachers and students, difficult people, health, peak performance, and so much more.

Download “CrazyBusy App Tips” for free.

Curbing Your Cell Phone Addition

One of the biggest drains on time and mental energy in modern life is what I call “screen sucking,” mindlessly sending and receiving emails, texting, surfing the net or checking your cell phone or any number of devices while walking, driving, or brushing your teeth. Sound familiar?
Take a few minutes now and ask yourself, “How much time do I spend on my phone each day?” How much time does that add up to in a week? Is this how I want to live my life?
If you want to stop technology from draining the life out of you so you can start enjoying the human moment and more, try implementing the 3 tips below:
Step #1  SET A GOAL. How much total time should be spent each day on electronics. Then break the total goal into time categories: how much time where, doing what, with whom.
Step #2 PLAN DAILY PERIODS OF ABSTINENCE. These “brain breaks” provide intervals of time in which no electronic device may be turned on. Yes, this will be difficult for you at first. So try beginning with 10 minutes twice a day. Then increase that time by 10 minutes a week until you reach 1 hour a day or goal you all want to achieve. Go one step further, plan a “de-tox” day over the weekend.
Step # 3 Replenish daily your dose of the other Vitamin C, Vitamin Connect. Overuse of electronics depletes one’s store of the human connection. Spend time having a face-to-face conversation with people, uninterrupted by anything. Try banning electronics when you’re out with friends or during dinner.
Want more tips on managing technology,  listen to my Distraction mini 45 “Your  Annual Screen Sucking Self Exam.”

Time is Precious

Sages through the ages have cautioned us to Seize the Day. And yet we don’t.

Time… rolls unnoticed.
We spend it.
We waste it.
We even kill it.
Time is a finite resource, but we behave as if it were infinite because, at the deepest level, we deny the fact of death in our everyday lives.
Only a fool… or a person too busy to think….will not do what it takes to live life to its fullest while he can.
Are you doing what matters most to you? Take an inventory today on how you spend your time and try to get the best return on your investment. 

3 Tips to managing your time:

  1. Do what matters most to you:  One way to wrestle back control is to take a hard look at our priorities and decide what matters.” Don’t spread yourself too thin – you must choose, you must prioritize.
  2. Learn to say, “No thank you.” Be careful not to overcommit.
  3. Slow down: Stop, think and ask  yourself, what’s your hurry?  Why wake up, already impatient, and rush around and try to squeeze in more things than you should, thereby leading you to do all of it less well?  Your hurry is your enemy.

Dr. Hallowell explains how to Curtail, Delegate and Eliminate.

The Real Danger of Digital Addiction

The Brain Equivalent of Global Warming The Real Danger of Digital Addiction by Dr. Hallowell / Psychology Today

Nobody’s proven that digital addiction rots your brain.  Nobody’s proven that gaming 18 hours a day is bad for you; that texting 14 hours a day harms you in any way; that spending 16 hours in front of a screen per day is in any way toxic; that emailing is less healthy than face-to-face communication; that telecommunication sacrifices any zest; as we gradually replace human moments with electronic ones we are losing anything at all. READ MORE.

TIPS FOR DISCONNECTING FROM YOUR DEVICES:

  • DON’T WASTE TIME SCREEN SUCKING (a modern addiction of looking at your iPhone, computer, any type of screen): Break the habit of having to be near your electronic devices at all times by changing your environment or structure.
  • SET A GOAL. How much total time should be spent each day on electronics. Then break the total goal into time categories: how much time where, doing what, with whom.
  • PLAN DAILY PERIODS OF ABSTINENCE. These “brain breaks” provide intervals of time in which no electronic device may be turned on. Yes, this will be difficult for you. So try beginning with 10 minutes twice a day. Then increase that time by 10 minutes a week until you reach 1 hour a day or
    goal you all want to achieve. Then “Turn It Off.”