01 Mar Airplane Mode
On a recent trip we left our iPhones on “Airplane” mode because we were traveling to an area with no phone connectivity and no internet. This allowed us to continue to use the phones’ other valuable functions such as the alarm clock in the mornings, the camera during the day and the flashlight in the dead of night. Several days went by and we were surprised to discover that both of our phones had retained most of their battery life. The better part of a week went by and we were amazed to discover that we still had more than half of the batteries’ charges remaining.
Typically we use our phones to go up on the web. We like to update our schedule, check the weather, access emails, text and visit Facebook, for example. We’ve been known to look up the meaning of words, and even find the name of an actor in a movie we have seen in the distant past. These activities take energy, of course, but there is also an energy drain when the apps are left open. Our phones lose even more juice when they try and find a Wi-Fi connection or phone service when the connection has been lost, because our phones then automatically go on search to complete the loop. They are programed to go out and check what is open to see if something needs to be done – download an email perhaps. They scan to see if we have a message waiting, for updates, etc. All of this happens behind the scenes, generally without our awareness and it is a constant energy drain.
Our desktop computers do this as well, we have noticed. When too many programs are open everything gets slow and functions that usually are quick to execute get bogged down. The computer is “distracted” by all the incompletions. It keeps checking to see what needs to be done.
Our minds work in the same way as those devices. They are programmed to search for incompletions, catching on that light bulb that needs to be changed or the bed that is unmade, the phone call that needs to be returned. It worries over all the things begging for attention in our environment the same way your tongue will worry a sore tooth. The checking and worrying and trying to complete that which is not currently available to be done – or that which you are unwilling to do – takes energy and drains your battery, too.
Hmmm – no wonder so many of us are distracted and perpetually tired. We have noticed that if we just begin by completing something, such as straightening our desk or washing that dish or restocking that toilet paper roll, then suddenly we have more energy reserves to work with.
Sometimes you just need to close things down and restart again. Close your mental desktop for the night. If you find that your mind is like a machine that doesn’t want to shut down, try making a simple list – it can take things out of your head and complete them for the moment. Then when you “restart” in morning and reconnect to your environment, you may just have the energy you need to complete those projects that are left.