I heard a speaker at a conference recently say that we were more concerned with the battery charge on our cell phones than on our own personal battery. Truth! I have been battling the battery on my cell phone for the last month or so. My cell’s battery charge was evaporating at an alarming rate so that I ended up practically keeping my phone plugged in about 70% of the day for fear it would end up in the dreaded “red zone”. In my obsession of my phone’s battery, I rarely thought about my own battery. What was I doing to recharge my own personal battery? Turns out my cell phone was more important than my own personal battery.
I didn’t end up in the hospital or fall off the wagon with my sobriety, thank goodness. I did end up getting emotionally scattered or as I said to my coach “splattered”. Splattered isn’t good. I started to feel pulled in a hundred directions, much like when twenty apps are open at the same time. Go ahead, check your phone right now. How many apps do you currently have open? If it’s more than two, you are likely splattered the same as I was. I discovered that I can reevaluate and reconnect my charger cable to get my battery charged again.
Here’s how to recharge your battery:
Ghost your phone
I recently read #DoNotDisturb How I Ghosted My Cell Phone to Take Back My Life by Jedediah Bila. She had some really good ideas. Some of them I had already incorporated into my life. I’ve taken off the notifications for social media and email. When you load a new app say no to notifications. I used to carry my phone everywhere. Meetings, cafeteria, bathroom, kitchen, living room, office; everywhere. I’ve started to rethink this. I’ve started leaving my phone in my purse even at home. I also have put my phone in a holder in my car so that it shows me directions but it’s not easy or practical to look up messages. I have to say, I am more relaxed when I’m not constantly checking for new email or social media connections. Start small. Maybe it’s turning off notifications, leaving your phone for one meeting on your desk or leaving it on the counter, starting at 7 PM at home.
I recently read The Little Book of Big Change by Amy Johnson. She claims no matter what your bad habit is, you can overcome it through the rewiring of your brain. I found this enlightening. The urge in your head is not you. You need to step back and look at the urge for what it is. An urge is nothing but a neuropathway that can be restructured and rebuilt. It’s like the path to your mailbox that is worn from all the times you have walked there. The key is to start a new route. I’ve recently tried this. I used to have coffee first thing in the morning. For the last month or so, I’ve been drinking a glass of water and putting off coffee for 30 minutes. Sounds simple, huh? It’s not. I need to recognize that my autopilot lizard brain (primitive brain) is so used to that coffee first thing in the morning that I need to acknowledge it, see that it’s just an urge, and that I’m trying to set up a new path towards a glass of water instead. The end result is that I feel better and I’m less likely to have a headache from being dehydrated from 9 plus hours of no water. Again, start small. I figured a glass of water was easier than quitting smoking (I did that many years ago but it was tough!). Start with the low hanging fruit and it will give you confidence that you can pull off something bigger.
Sleeping is not glamorous. In fact, it sounds downright boring. A friend of mine recommended an app called Pillow. I have an iWatch and now I wear it in bed and it tracks my sleep. Granted this is another “app” and you need to make sure you have turned off your notifications on your iWatch so you aren’t getting derailed by notifications. In the beginning, I was getting low numbers like 66% on my quality of sleep. It measures how long it took to fall asleep and the percentage of time in light, deep and REM sleep. I don’t know how the watch does it but I am so excited to report I got over 8 and a half hours of sleep last night and 88% quality! I feel terrific and my battery is fully charged. I’ve always been a proponent for sleep but I never thought I could get over 8 hours of sleep; especially restful sleep. As the old adage goes, “What gets measured, gets done” seems to apply. Measuring my sleep has helped me keep it a priority. Recharge your battery through sleep.
I walk from terminal to terminal when traveling at the airport. I take the stairs even when I am on the 21st floor of a hotel (Truth!). I do a strength workout three times a week. I absolutely feel it when I don’t get my exercise or at least get moving. My preference is to get outside if at all possible. I recently had two days of eight hour plus driving in a car. I felt my energy diminish. My battery was lagging. I needed to get moving again. Being cooped up in a car for an entire day had me dragging and needing to rehabilitate. I feel like I need to make sure I get a few miles in a walk either by stopping during the car trip or getting on a hotel treadmill first thing in the morning. Nothing recharges a battery better than getting your heart pumping.
Phone a friend
This is the greatest recharge of them all for me. Connecting with friends and family turns my battery to 100% in minutes. My daughter called me out of the blue yesterday. My parents called the day before. My boyfriend called from the middle of the Georgia mountains last night on his Appalachian Trail thru hike. You don’t need to be in the same room with someone to reconnect and recharge. There are many negatives to my obsession with my phone, but the upside is being able to actually use it as a phone and reconnect with the folks I love. If there is a way for me to be less splattered, it’s about connection. Phone a friend and recharge.
If you have been on a plane, you know they advise you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. No one else knows my battery level. It’s up to me. Is it time to recharge your battery?