We love our screens. Let’s face it: many of us couldn’t live without them. Devices have become a regular part of everyday life and a requirement to be able to do just about anything. Whether we’re on a virtual work call, attending an online class, scrolling through social media, or playing Animal Crossing, it all revolves around technology. The CDC reports that kids and teens ages 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day in front of a screen for entertainment purposes alone. Time in which the opportunity to build crucial life skills is sucked away into a digital void.
Technology isn’t all bad; it helps us to be more productive and allows us to connect with each other from anywhere in the world. But it’s important to be mindful about how much time we’re devoting to our screens. A healthy balance is necessary, especially for developing brains, to give ourselves a rest from the information overload of social media or to spend quality time with friends and loved ones.
The amount of time we spend in front of a screen each day has a big impact on the way we process information and interact with each other, and ultimately on our mental wellbeing. We’ve relied on our devices for so long that we’ve become desensitized to the negative effects, but too much screen time is one of those bad habits that holds us back from fully flourishing in life.
The Power of Flow
It’s no coincidence that we all find it so difficult to tear ourselves away from our screens. There’s psychology to support the fact that we are prone to becoming addicted to screen time. Have you ever become so engrossed in a task you’re enjoying that you completely lose track of time? Maybe you’re playing music, or painting, or writing, and before you know it, you look up at the clock and realize that you’ve been in the zone for hours without even noticing. Psychologists call this experience “flow.” When you enter a flow state, you subconsciously shut out the world around you and become single-mindedly focused on the present moment. When a flow state is activated in a productive or meaningful context, it can be extremely rewarding. Spending more of your time engaged in something you love is a sure way to improve your happiness and quality of life.
When Flow Turns to Junk
But, unfortunately, the same principle works in negative ways as well. “Junk flow” happens when an unhealthy or unproductive task activates our flow state. Like when we spend hours mindlessly scrolling through social media or binge-watching Netflix. It’s just as hard to break our concentration on junk as it is to walk away in the middle of a project we’re enjoying, but doing so is one of the keys to boosting our mental health to the very best it can be. Imagine living less of your life in front of a screen and more of it immersed in the activities you love. Cutting the junk out of your flow time is the way to do it.
Take Back Your Flow
Identifying junk flow in your life and stopping it before it happens is much easier said than done. It’s extremely difficult for any of us to pull ourselves out of our own bad habits, because we’re simply too close to the problem to recognize and address it properly. Luckily, there’s a whole branch of psychology called positive psychology that is dedicated to helping us reduce junk flow by teaching our brains to instead focus on the parts of life that are most meaningful to us. It’s been called “the scientific study of what makes life most worth living.”
Binge Battle’s planournals will help you apply the tenets of positive psychology by challenging you to reduce your junk flow and focus more of your attention on the positives in your life. It functions both as a planner that teaches you how to monitor bad habits, and as a journal that encourages you to reflect on the parts of everyday life that bring you the most joy and fulfillment. Structure to guide you to success, and freedom to make the journey your own.
No one ever said self-improvement was an easy task; it’s tough to know where to start and even tougher to stick with it. Planournals are designed to help you set purposeful short term goals that will lead you step-by-step toward replacing or reducing screen time with more meaningful experiences that will cause your well-being to flourish like never before.
It’s time to take the first step toward getting junk flow under control so you can live your best life. Fight the suck. Planournal.