No matter how much we deny it, the digital world has engulfed the world with its good & bad. Electronics on high volume with constant use could adversely affect our hearing, constant tapping onto a screen might give us repetitive strain syndrome neck and back problems, and the heat from mobile devices might be penetrating our skulls and frying our brains. Evidence highlight that Wi-fi signals might impact on the quality our sleep.
If you struggle to break up with your phone for even two minutes, maybe it’s time to act and treat yourself to a digital detox. Even if it’s just one hour a day, it can make a world of difference to your well-being and sanity.
- Time Allocation
Dedicate time slots throughout the day (or on weekends), where you turn of all incoming data notifications. Instead of spending your days with your head down, scrolling through feeds and feeds of information. A creative solution would be to fit in some quality face-to-face time to catch up with friends, family, and significant other.
- Out-of-Office Notification
Many people’s biggest fear about doing a digital detox is that others won’t be able to reach them. If you’re ready to take the leap to a whole day or weekend of unplugging, put in “digital safety nets.” Tell family, friends, and colleagues that you’ll be going off line—and use technology to do so. At least one week in advance, send emails, texts, and tweets, and set up an out-of-office away message. You can also write on your social media profiles that you’ll be unreachable for that period.
- Make your bedroom a no-tech zone.
Majority of us use our mobile phone as an alarm clock. In return when you reach for your phone to switch it off, you tend to start scrolling through Twitter. In fact, it’s best if you can leave your phone outside the bedroom at night and invest in an alarm clock. Make your bed a device-free zone and invite greater opportunities for intimacy—and sex. Oh, and you’ll also sleep better. Screens’ blue light tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime, which makes it harder to drift off.
- Establish Some Social Rules
Ensure to practice digital etiquette when you are in company, including when you are on dates or simply having drinks with friends. This means turning your phone on silent or keeping your phone in your bag and focusing on the conversation. To make it fun, play ‘Phone Stack’, which is a game that takes place with a group of friends over a meal. Everyone must give up their phones and place them in the middle of the table. The goal is to see who can last the longest without their phone. Whoever caves first must suffer the consequences and pay the bill. Digital detoxes are easier when friends and money are involved!
- Prune your “social media garden.”
Leave online groups you never engage in, prune your Facebook friend list, stop following blogs, people and sites you never read. Unsubscribe from mailing lists.
- Go by the rule of thirds
Divide your life into thirds—8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, and 8 hours free. Working smart and keeping time free allows our minds to wander in ways that make the hours we do work more effective. Researches show that for rote workers, more than 40 hours per week diminishes productivity; for creative workers, more than 20 hours per week does. So, if you let your smartphone be your work ball-and-chain, you’re not doing yourself any favors when it comes to productivity.
- Start Moving
If you find it a challenge to stay away from your device and feel lonely, spend more time out walking — in the woods, on the park, in order to breathe fresh air.
- Substitute Your Screens
The generation believes in using tablets to read a book and laptops to watch movies on Netflix. Substitute these screens by visiting a book shop or organizing a night out during the week with your friends to see a movie at the cinema. You can essentially still have your fun but with less screens involved and more opportunities to interact with others. At work, instead of hosting meetings or brainstorm sessions whereby everyone’s attached to their laptop screens, organize a stand up or outdoors meeting instead. Getting up and about with some fresh air can help introduce clarity of thought, resulting in more productive meetings and pleasant experiences.
- Switch to Airplane Mode During Workouts
The purpose of exercise is to detox, the same is challenged if carrying a mobile. Before you lace up to exercise, turn your phone to airplane mode or do not disturb, so there’s no temptation to check it. You’ll not only sculpt a better body, you’ll be more likely to reach that blissed-out, endorphin-soaked mindset by focusing on your workout, not your social network.
- Live by the Mantra “I am Lucky”
We all very well know that we’re not the only ones feeling anxious about what we’re passing up. Whether you’re sitting at home and know a party’s going on, or you’re lying in bed and yoga class started five minutes ago, be okay with where you are. Tell yourself, ‘Wherever I am is exactly where I need to be,’ Live by the choice you make and believe it’s the right one for you at that time. The pictures you are flooded with on Facebook and Instagram montages of fun-filled weekends, show only the highlights of others’ lives. People choose the flawless photo, add the best filter, and draft the perfect caption, so of course everyone’s lives are going to look awesome—although chances are, they’re not so shiny behind the scenes.
Make this a happening year when you get back in control of your digital life.