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How To Do A Digital DSetox

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Your time and your attention are two of your greatest resources.

Companies will — and do — pay big money to grab as much of that as they can.

Learning to take back those resources and curate your day in a more healthful, productive way starts with taking an audit of where your day is going.

“I’m at a computer all day, every day, as part of a distributed organization,” Kate Sullivan, content director for a publishing agency, told Healthline. “While we try to be reasonable with our expectations, I work with a lot of people around the world, and that means I’m often working beyond ‘normal’ hours. That takes a toll. We need downtime to recharge our batteries, especially working in a creative profession.”

Sullivan takes part in a digital detox every day. She instituted three “unreachable” periods: first thing in the morning, on her midday break, and again at the end of the day.

“I don’t use any electronic equipment at the start and end of the day, and I control my midday use carefully,” Sullivan said. “This gives me the space and time to step away from constant pings and updates and daily life — and to let my eyes and hands rest and relax instead of encouraging eyestrain and repetitive motion syndrome.”

Collectively, we know how to stop a digital addiction — just stop looking at your phone so much. Realistically though, that answer isn’t simple.

“The sympathetic nervous system, the body’s natural alarm-stress response, kicks in when our devices are removed,” Kersting said. “It’s a physical withdrawal much like alcohol withdrawal.”

The idyllic way to do a digital detox involves a glamorous retreat to a no-signal oasis with beach huts and mixed drinks, but that’s not realistic, and it might not break your habit long-term.

Instead, look for ways to carve out tech-free times every day. Here are seven steps that can help you digitally detox as little or as much as you’d like:

Leave the phone behind: Try turning your phone or tablet on airplane mode or leaving it in another room while you’re working or playing with the kids. Just a few hours without the phone and the constant nag to check it can help break the cycle.

Stop the pings: “I turned off all notifications on my phone,” Susan Mahon, a digital web editor told Healthline. “Not having the constant pings begging for my attention helped reduce my mental stress and made me feel more in control of my day.”

Hershenson suggested turning off notifications as a first step, too.

“Schedule times in which you check technology, such as only during your lunch break,” she said.

Give yourself a curfew: If you find yourself spending an hour or two swiping through Instagram or Flipbook before bed, set a phone or device cutoff time. After 9 p.m. the device goes into a drawer until you’re ready to leave for the office the next day.

Don’t wake up with your phone: If the first thing you reach for is your phone, break the habit by leaving it in another room when you go to bed. Invest in an alarm clock, and don’t touch your phone for the first hour after you wake up. If an hour seems too long, start with 15 minutes and work your way up.

Establish tech-free zones: Create rules around events or places, and enforce them with every family member or guest. For example, don’t bring your phone to the table, and don’t take it out of your pocket or purse when you’re dining with friends. If you have family movie nights, phones and tablets must stay in bedrooms. The break may feel like a fight at first, but soon, everyone will appreciate the opportunity to withdraw.

Step away during the day: “In the middle of the day, instead of taking a typical lunch break, I take an hour mini-detox,” Sullivan said. “When the weather’s nice, I go outside for a walk or a run. If the weather’s crappy, I use the elliptical instead. I’ll occasionally listen to a podcast during this time, but my phone goes on ‘do not disturb,’ and I shut down my computer. When I’m constantly pinging back and forth between various requests and tasks, I can’t settle into a creative flow, and I start feeling burned out.”

Reward yourself with tech-free times: Each day, give yourself an hour of “you time.” Treat yourself to a new magazine or a few chapters of your favorite podcast (with your phone on airplane mode). Take a hike, and leave the phone behind. You can even unwind in the bathtub with your favorite tunes on a Bluetooth speaker. Just make sure the phone isn’t in the room with you. You just might be tempted to start pinning new recipes or weekend projects. That’s adding to your to-do list, and that’s no fun at all.

source: Heathline

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