health life work

Digital Detox Experiment: Leave your phone in the car

It’s been a really busy time in the life of the Wise Geek. Lots happening in both the business and personal sides of my life.

During one of these super-busy days, the week-day started like any other: Alarm at 6:30am, hit snooze, hug my cat who jumps onto my bed, proceed to ignore snooze alarms until 7am… and then a frenzy of activity until I leave the house at 8am. In all of this hurried activity I forgot my phone. I only noticed this once I had arrived at the office car park. I parked in my usual spot and opened the center console/armrest where I keep my phone while driving.
Shit. No phone.

Now what? I can’t drive back as I just got here and my office is 20 miles away. Oh well, lets just remember it tomorrow…
However, something interesting happened in my mindset that day. I just felt more chilled, less anxious, relaxed and was able to focus on my day-to-day work much more effectively.

I also noticed a change in small habits like not reaching for my phone to check emails and stuff during toilet breaks and tea breaks. Not walking everywhere with my head lowered towards the screen like some kind of zombie. Instead I was able to “look up” and breathe deeply a bit more that day. I just felt more human and less on-edge.
In short I had experienced an involuntary “digital detox”.

A digital detox is a concept where-by you willingly give up checking things with a screen for some time, eg. a phone, laptop, computer… The idea is that it lets you get some balance back by stepping out of the digital bubble created by WhatsApp, email, texts, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc.

A bunch of hippy-dippy nonsense? Maybe. All I can say is that it worked for me 🙂

So much so that the next day I decided to keep my phone in the car at the start of the day and then only check it at 5pm when I finished work for the day.
That day and the following days I felt the same chilled, relaxed sense of calm. I really did.

So, I would encourage yoiu – nay, I would challenge you to try it. Leave the phone somewhere inaccessible at the start of the day and see how you feel. Try to keep it up for 5 days in a row and monitor your feelings and moods before and after.

I think you might be surprised at the results. If so, what does that say about modern life and how everyone seems to be glued to their screens these days?

life southampton

Southampton Shop Spotlight: Retro Time at the Loft Ladder

The second in my “Southampton Shop Spotlight” series is very similar to the first – and I apologize! You can probably guess my shopping habits right?

Before I get into the spotlight, this leads me on to an idea: do you have a shop/store in Southampton that has impressed you lately with it’s service, range of products, uniqueness or quirky-nature?

Then please get in touch with me using the “Contact Me” form and I’ll gladly host your write-up!

Onwards with the spotlight… Retro Time
Did you know that West Quay isn’t the only shopping mall in Southampton town centre? There is the oft-forgotten Marlands just up the high street towards the London Road end.

Unlike the uber-commercial West Quay, Marlands has an ace up it’s sleeve in the form of an upper level featuring something called “The Loft Ladder” – explained on the Marlands website thus:
Step up to the first floor and explore our uniquely designed space full of brilliant ideas, fabulous gifts and exciting talented individuals. If you’re looking for something different, this is the place to come.
An innovative retail concept with space designed specifically for smaller independents, fledging companies and creatively driven enterprises. Join a community of vintage, urban, arts & crafts retailers.

One of these shops is “Retro Time” manned by the multi-talented Steve.
As the name suggests, you will find all manner of Retro goodies here from Vinyl records, record/fashion bags, games consoles (including a large selection of handheld systems like Gameboy Advance and PSP), video games and those beeping electronic games from the 80’s.
There are also hobby/geeky things like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon cards along with hardback “coffee table” type books covering Star Wars, Marvel/DC History, Halo, Final Fantasy and suchlike.
Look carefully and you might find pocket binoculars, board games and even a sat-nav – it’s all part of the experience 🙂
It’s not all retro stuff – as you can see they have a selection of PS4 and Xbox One games (we’ll allow it Steve 😉
The surrounding shops feature products like home-made leather goods, indie clothing and ethnic jewelry – so maybe you can convince the girlfriend/wife to visit with you while you checkout the geeky stuff 😉

Since all the retro stuff is all used pre-loved, you can also sell your unwanted retro stuff here for others to enjoy again.
Give them a try! Check out their Facebook page, it has details of the newest stock, offers, promotions etc

Southampton Comics
I cannot mention Retro Time with mentioning the equally wonderful Southampton Comics who share the same floor-space.
These guys alternate every weekend between Mark (aka “The Space Ligers”) and Gavin (aka “The Gavster”) – each with their own range of comics. Both are friendly and knowledgeable dudes with Braniac-levels of encyclopedic knowledge of all things comics.
If you’re unsure what to read or want to get started then just ask them, set a budget and they will pick out good stuff for you.
Go there for a huge selection of comics from the usual Marvel/DC range to indie titles and graphic novels. They also have a selection of mini-figures and jewelry themed along comics/TV lines (I’ve personally been meaning to buy the Thundercats logo pendant…).
Check out their Facebook page for offers, promotions, events, video messages etc etc etc 🙂