A few years ago, I noticed myself becoming excessively and compulsively obsessed with my iPhone. In my early 20's, my dad looked at my phone bill and was shocked to see I had over 10,000 text messages that month. He simply could not believe it. His comments and mini lecture provoked some internal dialogue. Basically, they resulted in asking, what was I wasting my time with?
Although I am heavily reliant on my phone to connect with others and am an active social media user, I was thinking and relating back to my inner-child on what life was like before technology had taken such a firm hold on me. I thought about all the free time I had before when I wasn't continually scrolling or texting people for hours. I also reflected back to the most time-consuming activity possible that I used to have an affinity for when I was a child, completing puzzles. If I could complete a 1000 piece puzzle in the evening hours, I used to dilly dally around. Then I could truly realize how much of my time was wasted on my phone. It was a challenge I imposed on myself and an experiment to help me figure out how much of my time was in a small device's power.
From 100 - 1000 pieces, any type of puzzle would captivate me for hours on end. I wanted to get those hours back into my life by doing something I enjoyed. That is when I found an old puzzle in my basement that was half completed from the early 2000s, only to realize shortly that many pieces were missing. That led me on a trip to the store soon after, where I purchased a brand new puzzle. I was so excited to challenge myself. Instead of spending my evening's scrolling on my phone, I could embrace my inner child and complete something creative.
Puzzles are not only excellent for your brain but have many surprising benefits such as:
- Improved memory
- Heightened Creativity
- Integrated Brain Utilization
- Dopamine Production
Now I challenge myself to complete puzzles as an alternative to being on my phone or watching TV. To date, I have completed about ten 1000 piece puzzles and have framed one. One of my best friends even bought me a 2000 piece puzzle for my birthday, which I am excited to tackle and curious to know how long that would take me.
As a consultant, I am in an office for 8 hours a day and stare at my computer screen. I don't want to be staring at a screen for most of the day and living my life through my iPhone.
What would your inner child do if you had an extra hour a day? Put down your phone and find out.