Our smartphone, computer, tablet, music player are part of our everyday life. Technology is all around us, and we are living in a great era. But do you feel anxious every time you’ve got more emails or news alerts on your phone? Do you feel like you are addicted and you can’t stop? When was the last time you check your phone? Probably one or two minutes.
In fact to be able to unplugged from any kind of technology, is like a cleansing, yes a cleansing! A big juice diet, without the juice and without the weight loss. This is a real digital detox, a technology diet, a e-detox, whatever the name, you want to be disconnected and gain a bit of freedom of your freedom back! Those Six practical steps to help you to do a technology diet, a technology diet? Yes, you can also call that an e-detox, a disconnection or how to learn to unplug.
After all, technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not more complicated, and the fact that many of us can’t get through a dinner without pulling out our phones at least once is compromising our abilities to connect with people, ideas, and experiences that aren’t beamed out from a screen. While there are entire camps dedicated to “detoxing” our digital lives, I don’t think you need to go extreme but simply follow those steps to ‘re-educate’ your mind and body.
The phones, the emails, and the constant social networking pressure is becoming too much. Some serious changes need to be made before you send your MacBook flying through a window.
Create some boundaries between yourself and technology, creating “online-free” zones in your life: the car, the walk to work, even your bed. These are tips and tricks we can all use, no matter how toxic the tech in our life may feel.
Step One: Allocate ‘technology free time’ at home
– No phone in the bedroom.
Yes it’s simple as that, I will even go further – don’t bring your phone in the bedroom. The bedroom must be a calm and quiet place, to relax, having fun with your partner and of course to sleep like a baby and not checking the weather for tomorrow! Note: Same thing if your phone is on vibrate – out of the bedroom!
According to a poll conducted by Qualcomm 50% of Americans sleep directly next to their phone, and 29% of all Americans admit that their phones are the last thing they look at before sleep and the first when they wake up. This means that your brain begins to associate your bed, a place of rest and rejuvenation, with productivity.
– No emails/social media early in the morning.
I know this is a hard one, I also used to check my emails when I just wake up.
With one in four people checking Facebook before getting out of bed, a morning routine is eschewed for a brief flash of online activity — which, in the worst case, may lead to skipping breakfast. Try to spend the first half an hour after waking up, without any kind of technology, eat, walk the dog, exercise, breathe fresh air, have a shower, a cup of coffee/tea, do you hair, makeup, take your time. You have the rest of the day to check your emails, just not this first half hour in the morning.
– Use Facebook as a treat.
Studies show Facebook at work doesn’t derail productivity. In fact, according to Business Week, being allowed to log-on to social networks can help employees become more efficient. The Facebook break, for instance, is a modern (and more healthy) smoke break.
Yet, this is only applicable when Facebook is used as a treat, not as a constant occupier on your most frequented tabs.
Step Two: Learn to switch off
– Turn off your Facebook & other notifications on your phone.
– Organise your email.
Turn your email box on only 2 or 3 hours per day. Try as well to add some filters to those spam emails. Working offline, will be so beneficial to you, you wouldn’t be interrupted every 5 second by an email. I answer emails in the morning and end of the day. I am more productive during the day and less distracted so less stressed, trust me it works, you won’t missed the ‘super important email’.
– Try shutting off the Wi-Fi for 30 minutes or more.
With a simple mouse click witch off your Wi-Fi connection and you will realise how suddenly your computer is quiet, and you can finally work on your project with a focused mind. Please note you have to switch off the Wi-Fi on your smartphone in same time otherwise you are cheating (laughs).
Step Three: Speak up about your disconnection needs
– Communicate to your boss about times you won’t be available online.
Try pulling your superior aside and coming up with a time that works for both of you to go radio silent to replenish.
– Communicate to your loved ones about times you may have to be online.
Sure, this doesn’t quite help with a tech detox, but by telling those around you about times you have to be plugged-in — nights before important meetings or major deadlines.
Step Four: Have a ‘technology break’ per day
– You will reduce your stress levels by turning off your devices few hours per day.
For example, one hour in the morning and two hours at the end of day.
– Take real steps to put things on hold.
Out-of-office message. Sometimes turning it on at 5 p.m. on a Friday and back on at 8 a.m. on Monday can help you feel in control, especially if you instruct people how to get a hold of you in the event of an emergency. Another idea is putting all of your accounts on hold and most cell phone plans can easily be put on hold (for phones, just cancel data). A week without streaming data can give you the reset you need.
– Ask for help.
For truly dire cases, Levi Felix recommends asking for help, both online and off. “Set guidelines for yourself and tell the people around you, ‘Hey, I am going to try to not use the Internet or the phone in these hours.’ Don’t be afraid to broadcast this announcement to everyone.”
Step Five: Get Help
If you feel like you are spiralling out of control, you may need to reach out to a professional.
– Go somewhere and leave the phone behind.
I love walking the dog without a phone, no one can’t reach me and I can’t checked my emails. I can only enjoy the walk with my dog and bonding with him. I enjoy the sun on my face, and this half-an hour of quietness.
– Speak to a professional.
If you are struggling with real issues, consider speaking to someone about ways to unplug. It doesn’t mean you are an addict, because, as studies prove, our addiction to our phone can be both the effect and cause of depression.
– Give yourself permission to unplug.
Most importantly, don’t force yourself to turn off your phone, allow yourself to power down.
Step Six: Escape the rat race
Leave for few days your city, home and office, yes take some holidays. But not this crazy girlfriends shopping week in New York. Somewhere quiet, with very poor Wi-Fi connection or none, a cabin in the wood (without the horror sequel), few days on the boat, go an island and spend few days at the beach, reconnect with mother nature and yourself. Just breathe.