10 Balance Hacks From Folk Rebellion Founder Jess Davis

We asked NOISEMAKER + Folk Rebellion founder Jess Davis what has been instrumental in navigating her journey and what advice she could share with the POUND Posse when it comes to maintaining a ‘healthy’ balance. Here’s what she had to say.


Sometimes we don’t see ourselves the way other people do.


For me, checking in with my loved ones to make sure I am still operating the way I SAY I am operating is key. My husband will be the 1st to point out the my cell phone has made it into the bedroom or that the laptop is still open as we head into dinner. It happens. There are deadlines and opportunities you don’t want to miss. But for me its always been a slippery slope. Having extra eyes and ears around really helps.


#1: Start the Day Off Right.
Mornings should be sacred alone time for your brain. Remove the cell phone from beside your bed. If your phone serves as your alarm clock, purchase an alarm clock for cheap. Start your day without Kardashian-related breaking news phone notifications infiltrating your brain. Use this time to set your goals for the day. Without unnecessary phone distractions, you might be able to start work earlier.


#2: Prioritize Emails.
Handle your most important emails first, and whenever possible, batch emails together. For example, rather than bouncing between emails pertaining to 15 different projects, use keyword searches and filters to focus on one project at a time. Your brain will spend less time switching between tasks, which will let you unplug faster.


#3: Encourage Phone Calls.
Manage people’s expectations about when to hear back from you via email. If they don’t expect a response as quickly, they will be less likely to freak out and send multiple emails. My email signature explicitly encourages phone calls if I am needed urgently.


#4: Get it Off Your Person.
Try not to have your phone in your pocket or within arms reach at all times. As an addict myself, I notice that if its easy to reach, I check it. To conquer this, I recommends putting some physical distance between yourself and your device. For focus, stow it away it in a desk drawer while working on deadline that require undivided attention.


#5: Social? Think Desktop.
While many of us think of phones as productivity devices, the reality is we often use them for less focused purposes. I recommend not checking social media on the fly; rather, consider consuming it on a desktop. Between faster Internet connections and speedier typing, one can get through their social media to-do list faster if it’s on a desktop.


#6: Lunchtime Means Break Time.
Take your lunch away from a screen. Even if it’s 15 minutes. Walk without your phone. I promise the world will not explode if you are unavailable for less than an hour.


#7: Always On = Less Productive.
Studies are consistently proving that the “always on” mentality leads to diminished productivity. When you leave work, leave work. Those who do not unplug to some extent tend to burn out. I am sure there will be people in your life happy to see your face without the glow from your screen.


#8: Tangible Isn’t a Bad Thing.
Replace screens when possible with tangible objects such as books or magazines, which help train your brain to read long form and may improve focus. Furthermore, short digestible online content forces you to click to more content more frequently, costing you precious seconds of lost productivity–which, over time, will add up.


#9: Use Your Hands.
I’ve found that people that do things with their hands for a living or have hobbies involving their hands are less ‘addicted’ to technology. I believe it’s because their hands are always busy. Musicians, makers, artists, dancers, athletes, yogis, surfers all are less tethered because they have something in their life where either a phone can’t enter or their hands are too busy to be bothered. You might not cut out to be a yogi, but a hobby to keep your hands occupied might help you unplug.


#10: Bring Manners Back.
Be courteous and put the phone away for meetings, meals, and while being waited on either at a coffee shop, takeout counter, or restaurant. Plain and simple, it’s rude not to. You may think you’re being more productive, but you’ll get through checkout faster if you’re not distracted. At business functions, you may even meet a key new contact or close an important deal, all because you were unplugged and focused on the humans around you.



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