COVID-19 has been unimaginably tragic, and I do not in any bit mean to diminish its realities. But for me, this time has been personally transformative.
For years I’ve struggled with an addiction. This addiction is so pervasive that we probably share it. Heck, if you’re a parent, I bet your child is also already an addict.
I get digitally drunk. That is, I find myself all too often one foot away from my screen (typically my iPhone) and have no idea how I got there. Several months into the pandemic and without the typical pursuits of the outside world, things had gotten so bad that I’d lose hours on end, sometimes whole nights, to my Facebook feed. Then on September 6th, I finally did it. I successfully deactivated my Facebook account. In fact, I got off of all “social” for roughly six months.
I run a firm, and we get a significant amount of our business through social media; however, neither my professional nor personal life fell apart. Instead, I found that I got hours (upon hours) of my week back. I found so many hours that I rediscovered that unique ability of babies from the 80s (and earlier): the ability to do nothing. While absorbed in nothingness, I often think strategically and find that I’m pretty productive. Most of the credit goes to my law partner and coworkers; however, our small firm has grown during the pandemic from three to six attorneys.
I recently returned to Facebook to announce my engagement. I missed a few announcements, but there’s nothing I missed that compares to what I gained once I took the chance to disconnect.
At some point in my childhood, I learned that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Later on, in adulthood, I began to hear of friends taking stabs at habit modifications 30 days at a time, usually through a “dry” January or some other alternatively slow month. More recently, I read that much data suggests 90 days may be the magic number.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I found some joy amidst so much profound tragedy; however, 90 days from my own date with “normal,” I find myself wondering what other opportunities I may have missed. You, too, might need to make a change. If so, why not try to make that change before life goes back to whatever “normal”? In 90 days (maybe more, maybe less), you too could change your life.