Considering that most of us depend on our smarthphone to wake up in the morning, inform us about the weather, and head towards our next destination, having a day free of electronic devices (or an hour) is not a simple challenge. This is why doing a digital detoxification today is of paramount importance.
Technology has made life much more interconnected and convenient, however, it has also made us addicted to the digital world. Having to keep up with the endless notifications coming from ten different social networking platforms can be stressful and exhausting.
And let’s not even start talking about e-mails.
If you’re struggling to get away from your phone for just two minutes, maybe it’s time to take action and deal with a digital detox. Even if it is an hour a day, it can make a whole world of difference in your well-being and healing.
Not sure where to start? Then we have 10 ways to disconnect you. The goal is to be more productive and do more than you love, reducing support and addiction in technology.
Be ruthless with notifications from your Smartphone.
Are you guilty of checking your phone every time someone mentions you on Facebook, or tags you on a photo on Instagram? If self control is a problem, do something drastic once and for all. Spend time spaces throughout the day, or on weekends, where you turn off all notifications. Instead of spending your days with your head down, shifting the screen through tons and tons of information, why not spend some quality time face to face with your friends, family, or that important person? If there is something urgent, people can still call you. Do not worry, your Facebook messages and your Instagram tags will not go anywhere.
Do a Digital Cleaning.
Make use of your willpower and erase all the applications you never use on your phone (or hardly use), as well as unnecessary social networking platforms. Finish your subscriptions to those updates that you subscribed to, but which you usually delete before opening, it’s just digital junk that causes you unnecessary stress.
Unroll.Me is a great website that you can use to do digital cleaning. Login to see a list of your subscription emails, and then end your subscription instantly any one you want with a simple click. Very easy.
Pamper yourself with a “Wellness Vacation”.
Vacations are made to relax, but when you are constantly climbing Instagram each of the perfect shots that cross your path, and using Snapchat as you walk, it is easy to get lost in the virtual world, and forget to appreciate the moment, simply being ” there”. If you are ready for a break in which you can be disconnected from stress, conserve yourself with a “Wellness Vacation” on your next getaway.
Book a flight to Fiji or any other paradise island you can escape from the digital world, get away, and reconnect with nature. You’ll be so busy snorkeling, swinging in a hammock, getting massages, and drinking straight from fresh coconuts in the pool, that your e-mails will be the last thing on your mind. If you need a little extra help, the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa offers the best Business Rest Package, where guests will surrender to the charms of a personal butler.
Act Smart with E-mails.
As most will agree, e-mails can be the doom of an individual’s existence. Sure, it is a necessary thing, but it is also a great waste of time. Thanks to technology, we are constantly in “work hours”, checking our e-mails as soon as we wake up, then on the road, on holidays, and even during meal times.
If all of the above sounds very similar to you, it is time to manage your e-mails, instead of allowing your e-mails to administer to you. Establish an efficient system of e-mails, in which you can only read your e-mails at fixed times. You can also turn off email notifications at night or on weekends. Generate response templates for generic or common e-mails to save time, and do not feel embarrassed for not responding to e-mails you receive from the office and not meeting the expectations of your co-workers.
Establish Some Social Rules.
Be sure to practice some digital labeling when you’re in the company, including when you’re on a date or just drinking a few drinks with your friends. This means mute your phone, or keep it in your pocket and focus on the conversation. To make it fun, you can play “Pack Cell Phones”, which is a game that you can carry out when you meet with your friends. Everyone should give up their cell phones and place them in the middle of the table. The goal is to see who can stand the most without your phone. Whoever takes it first must suffer the consequences and pay the bill. Digital detox is much simpler, when friends and money are involved!
Schedule a Schedule Free schedule.
Each day, set schedules in your calendar, for a non-negotiable non-screen time. Being written on your calendar is much more likely to commit to the time you have planned and promised. Treat it with the same importance as you would treat a work meeting, or an appointment with the doctor. Use this time to do whatever you want as long as it is technology-free.
Free screen time can be as simple as reading an afternoon book in the garden, or going out for a walk. Think of these times as quality time “For Me”, or “Relaxation Time”, you will be surprised how rewarding the results can be.
Replace your Screens.
In today’s digital world, we use our tablets to read a book and our laptops to watch movies on Netflix. Replace these screens by visiting a bookstore or organizing a night out with your friends, to watch a movie at the movies. Essentially, you can also have fun with fewer screens involved, and many more opportunities to interact with others. Similarly, at work, instead of organizing linked sessions or brainstorms where everyone is glued to their screens, organizes a front-of-house meeting, or out of the office. Getting up and drinking some fresh air can help bring clarity of thought, resulting in much more productive meetings, and much more enjoyable experiences.
Reorganize your Bedroom.
Creating a free sanctuary of digital devices in your home is a great way to erase the stress of your busy lifestyle. Your bedroom should be The Zone par excellence to disconnect, and rest after a busy day. For this to work, you need to set some ground rules. Remove all screens from your room. The TV can stay in the living room, but your laptop or tablet should be out of sight. The same goes for your cell phone, since you can use a real clock instead of your alarm. Invest in a comfortable bed, as well as quality bedding, and good pillows. Introduce some candles to your space, and use an essential oils diffuser every night. Do what is necessary to design an environment that is comfortable and relaxing – without electronic devices.
Find a New Hobby.
If you normally fill your free time with screen time, then you may need to look for some new activity and hobbies that fill that digital void. Write a list of all the alternate activities or projects you’ve been wanting to do but you never seem to find the time to do them, and start doing them one by one. Whether it is Pilates or Yoga, or take a class of tissue or pottery, the time to do it is now. Opt for activities that do not require access to technology, and ask a friend to accompany you to add motivation to the activity.
Use Technology to Your Benefit.
If you still need help, download the Big Red Button on Google Play, a free iPhone application for digital detox. If you feel that you want to disconnect for a while, all you need to do is press the “Great Red High Button” in the application, which will let everyone who sends you a message know that you are taking a break and when you will be back. Yes, it’s ironic that you’re using technology to keep you from staying connected, but, Hey! Whatever works, is not it?
A digital detox is about the power of the now, and be present at the moment. So the next time you take some time to enjoy the sunset, or dance a little, instead of getting your phone to get the best shot, leave it in your pocket and simply enjoy the experience. Did you love this article? Share it with your friends.