Your phone and laptop are killing you. No, really! It’s time to stop letting electronics run our lives.
In addition to consuming your valuable time and attention, there are several common wellness problems that can be mitigated through a simple reduction (or total elimination) of screen time.
In the U.S., it is estimated that most people are spending far too much time directly viewing electronic screens. A 2016 Nielsen Company audience report showed that on average, Americans devoted 10 hours and 39 minutes of each day to electronic screens, including mobile devices, computers, video games and television. What’s more, is that the number is climbing as more people spend even more time on their screens!
Health professionals are recommending that people of all ages minimize their screen time, particularly at nighttime and other times when relaxation or focus is your primary goal. It almost goes without saying that you’ll be a much healthier and more effective investor, and be more prepared to handle unexpected circumstances, if you can train yourself to limit your time spent on electronic devices.
As if there aren’t enough reasons already to put down your phone and be more present, I’ll raise you a few more that could salvage your health and well-being at the same time.
If you’re one of those people that stays up late in bed, browsing your phone and waiting for that elusive wave of sleep to come, you may actually be prolonging the process. I’ve said before that sleep is the key ingredient for success for real estate investors, and I stand by that today!
Blue light from electronic screens is proven to interrupt healthy sleep cycles. It mimics daylight, tricking your brain into staying awake for the long haul. This means that using electronics late into the night can make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep – and may even kill your wakefulness and energy in the mornings, too.
Research shows that viewing blue electronic light can throw off the brain in terms of producing the hormones that are so vital to the physiological process of sleep. Put quite simply, when you use your phone or computer before bed, you’re cutting off your brain’s production of sleep fuel, and it can take a very long time to get this process back to normal so you can sleep easily again.
Proper sleep propels your career. You don’t want to be that real estate investor who shows up to the meeting late, in a wrinkled suit, an exhausted and bewildered look on their face. So, make the right steps to close those screens and start winding down your evenings much earlier. There will be plenty of time to check all your updates in the morning, with a clear head and fresh eyes.
Do you often find yourself emotionally affected by the news and updates you get from your phone each day? Ever wish you could just…turn it all off for a while? It’s probably best that you do. Blue light is damaging to the circadian rhythm, but the media you consume from your screens is what can really hang up your mood and overall emotional wellness.
Heavy use of social media has been shown to produce higher levels of anxiety and depression in teens or young adults. But, no matter your age, it’s true that all those social apps can make us feel a variety of negative emotions from jealousy to FOMO (fear of missing out). These emotional responses are not based in the real world and will not aid you on your quest to become a successful real estate investor! Limiting your time on these apps will help you stay focused on the big picture.
The bottom line here is that you will achieve much greater things by being offline and fully present, than you ever will in the online world. Even if you do much of your work remotely, you still need time away from your screen to digest information, make real-world connections and see issues from new perspectives.
Your phone and computer are hands-down the biggest figurative block between you and your loved ones. Even if you live alone, time spent focusing on your screens can easily be spent writing or reading, practicing a skill or hobby, or out socializing with friends – all valuable to human and investor success.
In order to balance your work with a healthy lifestyle, you need to learn to relegate your screen time to a set time of the day, every day. You can always make adjustments to your routine here and there to accommodate extra work – as well as extra social hours or valuable “me time.”
The great times you spend with your friends, family and spouse will be the ones you remember 20 years from now. Not the moments you spent hunched over your laptop working on your marketing plan, or browsing property listings on your phone. Prioritize and delegate your tasks to stay on point.
No matter how you try to justify your use of electronics, even the most zealous can agree that it’s important to set aside specific times for that type of work. By doing this, you’ll become a faster and more focused worker when it comes to your phone, laptop, and other devices, while eliminating the eye strain and mental exhaustion that so often accompany a screen-heavy lifestyle.
It’s the sign of a mature and seasoned professional to be ready and present when appropriate. Your prospects, clients and colleagues may not immediately notice, but will definitely appreciate your showing up to meetings without once glancing at your phone.
Be the type of investor you’d want to work with. That starts with being just as focused, rested, and put-together in person as you present yourself to be online. It starts with staying off those screens until it’s time to work!