Have you had enough of your phone? Perhaps you’re so addicted you get withdrawals and panic when you can find your phone.
…Only to realise it was in your back pocket all along. (Admit it, we’ve all been there)
If that sounds like you, then maybe it’s time for a digital detox.
A digital detox refers to a period of time in which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and even computers. It’s regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
In this digital heavy world we live in, it would be nearly impossible to achieve an all day detox – unless you’re on a remote Robinson Crusoe island somewhere, in which case I hope the only thing in your back pocket is a straw for drinking coconut water, and not your spare battery pack.
But in that case, how can you stop the incessant ringing and beeping of your gadgets? Here’s how:
- One of the best times of day to have a mini-detox is in the morning. You’ve just blended a green juice so makes sense to follow through and keep your mind as chilled out as your body. Simply switch your phone to silent, or if you can handle it, switch it off altogether when you go to bed, and don’t turn it back on until you reach the office. Giving your mind this short time to rest a little more on your journey to work will actually help you perform better throughout the rest of the day as you won’t be exhausted from all the worrying you did on the train about an email you saw before your head was off the pillow.
- Another great time of day to digital detox is lunch. Maybe spend fifteen minutes catching up with messages and friends or sending a snapchat of your lunch if you must. Then put the phone aside and eat your lunch in peace, read a book or go for a walk. Research shows that having a proper break at lunch and a change of scenery is a great way to feel more relaxed after lunch and be more productive for the rest of the afternoon.
- The all important, instagram-able, must-tweet-it-right-now moment arrives – the weekend! Shock horror though, this is the best time for digital detox. You’ve finished with work for the week, and it’s now your time to unwind and get some much needed R&R before another busy week. This doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors all day, but it does mean your social experiences should be real ones, not a digital through your smartphone screen. The best time to achieve digital detox at the weekend is when you are out for lunch, dinner or drinks with friends. Simply play this games:
- Place all phones in a pile in the centre of the table.
- Under no circumstances should anyone touch their phone.
- If they do, they have to pay the entire bill!
Simple, but super effective; no one wants to pay for a round of 6 cocktails, 6 gourmet steaks and 3 bottles of wine at an expensive restaurant all by themselves.
So this weekend, instead of taking a picture of yourself doing yoga, just enjoy it instead!
Don’t be this guy: