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Discover the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to improve your financial health and ultimately build a financially secure and independent life

Are you addicted?

How often do you check your cell on a daily basis? Five times? Fifty times? On average, Americans check their phones 262 times per day—that's once every 5.5 minutes!

Would you be able to cope without your cell for an hour? For a day? Packing for a recent bush break for the long weekend saw us all scrambling around the house at 4am, trying to get out of Jozi early and head off into the warm African bush. Three hours out of town, we stopped to get coffee. I reached for my cell to send a message to my family to let them know our progress. Every bag I checked left me empty handed. I became slightly frantic. Could it be? Surely not!? Could I have left my cell at home? The device that is ALWAYS with me?! Yip, I had. No cell for THREE days. My youngest daughter asked wide eyed and horrified “Mommy, does that mean we have to go all the way back home to fetch it?”

No, there was no going back. I would be without my cell for three days.

My family roared with laughter, you’ll NEVER cope. On the inside, I agreed and felt slightly dizzy at the thought. Outside, I laughed along with them, reminding them this meant they have to arrange all social meet ups, take all pictures and keep everyone informed of our progress. Hmm…that made it slightly less fun for them but still chuckle worthy! I wondered out loud if I could get my Dad to get into our house and set up my cell to automatically respond to any message sent to me. That was met with even more laughter. I resolved to get through it, cold turkey.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. The days feel sooooo much longer without the constant distraction of a cell phone, whether it is used to take pics, send messages or check emails and social media.

  2. I loved not being responsible for any arrangements! Sure, we arrived later than planned and our friends weren’t closely informed as to what our every move was but hey, they were happy to see us anyway and the best part? I wasn’t even slightly stressed since I had no hand in it!

  3. I felt free and relaxed, there was nothing I could do anyway so no need to operate at the low level of anxiety we unconsciously all live with: Did someone message me? Did I respond? Is everything OK? Does anyone need me?

  4. I felt much more present and had lots of time to think. We live very distracted, frazzled lives and having a digital detox made it feel like a proper break.

  5. It was tough for my parents and sister not to get regular updates - accompanied with loads of pictures of course. But we all made it through! :-)

  6. There were over 100 WhatsApp messages waiting for me on my return. But did anything fall apart? No. Was it all good for me to respond when it suited me? Absolutely.

I have decided to have one day every weekend of no cell phone, an enforced downtime.

Time to breathe, to think, to live life on my terms and not be forced to respond to everyone else’s agenda.

I invite you to give it a try with me.

* Tune in next week when we take a closer look at why you should never hold a property with partners.






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