Pokemon Go is now an iconic game. A resurgence from the feel-good time of the 1990s, playing Pokemon Go not only provides one with a sense of nostalgia and connection to a simpler time, it also is destroying your productivity.
We often take time to read articles on productivity because we suffer from the belief that we "don't have enough time" to pursue our passions. But you and I both know that this idea of not having enough time is actually a lie to make us feel better about how we spend our time.
If you hit the pause button and reflect on your life, it changes your perspective. Right now, get in touch with the inevitability of your death. Think about the fact that your length of time on this earth is far from guaranteed.
When you're in contact with your mortality, you realize that time is the most valuable asset, and yet, when we live with a pleasure-seeking mentality, we chronically waste the time that we have.
Here's five important things you can do instead of playing Pokemon Go:
1. Be mindful of your surroundings.
While it's excellent that so many people are leaving their rooms and offices to explore their surroundings, many people are still avoiding full contact with the here-and-now.
Even without Pokemon Go, many people struggle to be fully engaged with the present moment.
Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is be present. When you are in a meditative state and so consumed by the present moment that you feel an empty sense of contentment, you are vibrating with the rhythm of the universe.
If you need a reason to justify this state, then remind yourself that mindfulness improves concentration, focus, feelings of wellbeing, and decreases stress and anxiety.
2. Read an engaging book.
If you can walk and play Pokemon Go, then you can walk while reading a book.
Science repeatedly demonstrates that reading is one of the best hobbies because it improves your vocabulary and critical thinking skills, often resulting in higher intelligence. The same can't be said for most games or casual consumption of social media.
So instead of staying in your comfort zone, try replacing your time on a screen with a book that challenges you to grow personally and professionally.
3. Strategize and brainstorm.
There's a difference between deliberate contemplation and rambling self-talk.
It's easy to find ourselves wasting time to and from work (and frankly most other times too) simply engaging in unproductive self-dialogue and playing games. Instead of falling in this time-devouring trap, put your mind to good use. Try to use your mind as a tool.
If you feel the need to think about a future event, then ponder with purpose rather than simply ruminating on irrelevant ideas and fantasies.
With a phone in your pocket, you have everything you need to start having your voice heard.
Instead of allowing games to take your creative juices, redirect them to expressing yourself. The more that you write, the better you'll become at conveying your thoughts.
Working on your writing doesn't just make you a better writer, it helps you become a better speaker, which is a valuable skill to possess.
5. Call your Mom.
Just kidding. But in all seriousness, when was the last time you called some of your loved friends and family that don't live nearby?
It's easy to get caught up in life and forget to check in, which has never been more accessible than with our phones--just say the name and Siri will dial for you! Instead of playing a game, attend to the more important things in life like connecting to the people who shaped who you are. Stay in touch, your poor mom's waiting.
Stop wasting your time.
There's nothing wrong with disconnecting and playing a fun game to relax at the end of a long day--in fact, that's a healthy form of self-care. However, if you find that you don't have enough time to devote to your work, passions, or relationships, then you need to re-evaluate the way you spend your time.
When you're in your eighties, chances are you won't remember which Pokemon you caught. Hopefully, you'll be reflecting on your meaningful contributions, your enriching relationships, and your gratitude for having such amazing experiences.
You don't need to always be working to be productive, and you don't need to quit playing games, scrolling through Facebook, or cancel your Netflix account.
You do, however, need to be mindful of your habits and accept responsibility for how you spend your time.