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Balancing a Blackberry....

answered 12:28 PM EST, Tue October 25, 2011
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I need to use a Blackberry for work. It’s not really an optional thing for me and my work demands that I have it on so I am reachable 24 hours a day. The problem is I have developed this total compulsion to using the thing and I feel like I am missing out on half of my life staring into the screen. And the thing is it’s almost never for anything important. My kid will be asking me some question and trying to get my attention and instead of talking to him with any attention I pull out my phone and check my email as I give him some half assed answer. It’s really terrible and I recognize this at the big picture level but it’s like a habit now that I can’t break free from and I do it all the time without even thinking about it. I will even check my emails in the middle of the night and it’s the first thing I do in the morning.

If I didn’t need to use it for work I’d throw it in the pool, I swear, but that’s not really an option. So how can I keep using it without it being the master and center of my universe.

This sounds like a trivial concern, I know, but I really can’t seem to control myself and it is driving me, and everyone in my family very crazy.

Prof. Jane Ballis Says...

Hello,

First, I want to give you credit for recognizing a pattern and wanting to make a change. Sounds like there is a lot going on in your life and it is keeping you on your toes. Sometimes worrying about the little details can be a sign of having difficulties with stress. Taking some time during your day to release stress can help to put things in perspective. Take a few minutes to stretch, breathe deeply, or close your eyes to help you destress throughout your day.

Secondly, I can understand feeling like you need to keep checking on things to stay on top of your game. I wonder if answering the question," What am I concerned about missing right now?" might might give you a clue to preparing some self talk when you feel like checking the blackberry. Also, coming up with a checklist of things to do instead, may give you alternate ways of dealing with your impulse. The checklist may help you to make another decision. For example, at night you could tell yourself that you are now off and deserve some relaxation time when you feel the urge. That might help to let go of your concerns at night.

If you continue to struggle and don't feel you are making headway you may want to consider therapy. A therapist can help you identify concerns and assist you in coming up with a plan to combat urges.The therapist can also help you explore any blocks that get in the way of changing your habit.

Good Luck!

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Page last updated Nov 16, 2011

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