Taking a pause from work and running to the Internet is not pausing

Who are you when you take a pause? What do you do? What do you connect to? Taking a pause is not about running to the Internet, in my opinion. But I know that happens a lot. Getting the cell phone off your hand is a complex task for many. Cell phones are addictive. So is social media. When you take a pause, is getting your phone and scrolling down your Instagram, Twitter or TikTok feed the first thing you do? Have you considered taking a different kind of pause? One where you are all there and contemplating something? It could be that quarter-hour getting sunbathed — or that time you need to take off after lunch to just breath.

You take a pause to clear your mind. However, if, during that pause, you are in the habit of nearly instantly getting hooked on the phone, then how will that pause be effective? Can you remember the last time you really were present in the moment? If you can’t, understand: pausing is about disconnecting as well. And that goes a long way. So let’s be clear: I’m not telling you not to go on the Internet. I love the Internet (I’m Aquarius, fam). I go into social media and, like you, I enjoy browsing. But doing that during each and every pause is unhealthy. It’s an addiction. It’s important to call it by the name. Because when we call it by the name, we realize it.

Look at your cell phone and think: do you really need to check everything out every five minutes? It’s about choices — it’s always about choices. And it goes like this: you can read a bit of that book, or you can stay on the phone; you can talk to your family during dinner, or stay on the phone. If you have a hard time keeping out of social media every time you hold your cell phone, you’re not alone.

To learn more about this behavior, I’m making a few book recommendations below to help you change that:

- Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle.

- How to Break Up With Your Phone, by Catharine Price.

- Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport.

- Conexão Essencial, by Gabriela Brasil.

What makes a good exercise is staying away from the phone when you take time out to breathe.

Take the opportunity to look at nature around you, to take a short walk, to open up your mind. Boredom can open the doors to creativity just because our primitive brain is always trying to work something out. Experience boredom for longer periods of time — that’s also good for your productivity.

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