In today’s digital age, we are constantly surrounded by technology. Beyond staring at computer screens throughout our work day, exposure to social media and email communication has become increasingly mobile through our smartphones, tablets and even watches. We are connected to our digital lives more and more, which ultimately affects our attention spans, our person-to-person interactions and even our sleep patterns and overall health.
Here are some tips to help you carve out dedicated time throughout your day to disconnect from your tech and refocus your energy on mindfulness and meaningful interactions.
1. Use mornings to focus on yourself
Try scheduling in relaxing activities each morning, so you can start your day refreshed and energized. You might exercise or do yoga for 15-30 minutes, read a book or newspaper while you drink your morning coffee, or write in a journal before tackling any to-do’s or checking your email and social media updates.
2. Re-boot: Take Sundays off
When Sunday arrives, try shutting down your computer and leaving it off for the entire day, or better yet, the entire weekend. Leave your cell phone at home if you go out to run errands. If you’re meeting up with friends and family, switch your phone to airplane mode and wait until you return home to check if you missed any important calls, messages or emails.
3. Create boundaries in your daily life
Constantly checking emails, texts and social media is a habit that can be changed. To do so means separating yourself from your digital devices whenever possible. Try waking up to a regular, old-fashioned alarm clock instead of using your smartphone’s alarm feature. You can keep your phone away from your bedside, and be less tempted to check it right before bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Instead of eating meals in front of your computer at work, use lunch or dinner as an opportunity to sit down face to face with family, friends or coworkers and catch up.
4. Spend more time outside
Give your mind and body a break from digital screens and get outside as much as you can for some fresh air – a brisk walk can re-connect you with your surroundings, clear your mind and even improve your cardiovascular health.
A digital detox is a great way to reprioritize your time and focus on what’s really important to you, including your personal interactions, leisure time and your overall health and wellness.