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The three lessons I was reminded of when I dropped my phone in the toilet!

phonetoiletchartDropping your phone in any body of water is never something I advocate – let alone dropping it in the toilet – but there I was, just a few weeks ago, watching ‘my life’ sinking.  After scooping it out as quickly as I could, I watched it die in my hands. Arrhhh, how could I have been so stupid?!? I quickly left it in the sun to dry and then proceeded to look up methods of drying it out (putting it in a bowl of rice being the popular choice).

So, there I was, phone-less.

And to be honest, I was shocked at how I felt; it was like an arm was missing. I mean, ridiculous. I didn’t get a smart phone until 2010 – a late joiner for sure – and I lived my life quite easily without it. But here I am, six years later, and I kinda felt a bit panicky.

Now if you haven’t lost your phone, or had it break, then you might be reading this thinking “Seriously, it’s just a phone…” but ‘my life’ is on there and I had broken the golden code of technology ownership, not backing it up since I bought it. Now most things are linked to my Google account, so I wasn’t so worried about my contacts, but I have a ton of photos that are super important, and it’s one thing I haven’t linked to the ‘cloud’.

So, the rest of the day was spent at home, checking my emails on my computer and worrying my son couldn’t get in touch with me if there was a problem (just started Secondary school) because I knew he didn’t have the land-line number. It’s quite incredible how things have changed, I remember always having 5p on me when I was younger, in case I needed to use a phone box. I’m not sure my son even knows what one is. (A phone box, not 5p)

Luckily for me, my phone is now working (fingers crossed it stays that way) but it’s reminded me of a few lessons, that can also be used in other areas of my life.

Back up
In this ever growing technological age, backing up your work/computer/phone is always advised, but not really done. (Well, I say that, perhaps everyone else is busy backing up, or have their accounts linked to the cloud so it’s all done for them, but it’s something I’m guilty of not doing.) If you’re guilty too… then stop reading this, and go do it. It takes less than 5 minutes, and most smart phones have software that makes this process super easy. Whilst you’re there, back up your computer too, if it’s not being done automatically.

Detox
Seriously, I need to detox my phone habits.

“I can’t remember the last time I ‘unplugged’ – and this episode has brought it home just how reliant I am (and a slave to it too) on 24-hour connectivity.”

In fact, I had a client email me on Sunday night, asking for an ISBN number (he was in a hurry) and I ended up creating his invoice and completing the transaction there and then, (pausing Aiden Turner who was looking devilishly handsome in Poldark) and it’s a bad habit to get into setting us up for no ‘off time’; well no quality off time anyway.

There is also a fallacy that just because we’re connected, we’re also indispensable. Being an owner of a small business, my work emails come straight through to my phone, and I’m very guilty of answering them outside of business hours, allowing customers to dictate when I operate or be worried they’ll find someone else if I don’t reply immediately. This just leaves me in a repeated downward spiral of always feeling “I have to be available.” Setting up boundaries and saying no (or not responding) outside of hours should be the norm, and I’m the one at fault by allowing it to happen. The guy I sold the ISBN number too didn’t even acknowledge the fact I helped him out, on a Sunday night – which made me feel a bit “hmm, am I being a bit of a mug here?”

Get the right help
I’m sure the reason why my phone now works is because I got the right advice to fix it. (Which is; don’t try and turn it on, dry it as much as you can, take out the sim card and stick it in a bowl of rice and place it somewhere warm – leaving it for 24-hours minimum before trying to switch it on again.) It’s not rocket science to seek help, and it’s usually just a click away, but I also gained some much needed info on which software to get for syncing my phone up to my computer – as well as not trying frantically to turn on my phone… all of which has now got me out of a pickle.

So, there you have it… the three main lessons I was reminded of from dropping my phone in the loo… and realising that backing up, detoxing and switching off, and getting the right help is critical to good health – both technologically and emotionally.

Oh, and if you still haven’t backed up your phone – or computer – do it NOW!

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If you need help writing or publishing a book, get in touch. I can help with any aspect of your project, from a seed of an idea, to a finished manuscript. Just email me at alexa@thebookrefinery.com and let’s see if I can help. I look forward to hearing from you.