Putting a little distance between you and the digital world can feel incredibly cleansing. Here are a few simple ways to give your mind a little break.
Digital work week
We get it, your work is immensely important — not only as your livelihood but also because it’s a source of personal fulfillment. The digital world provides a lot of freedom in many ways, like the ability to work remotely, but it can also hold you hostage, compelling you to answer every message and email as soon as it comes through.
Luckily, the professional world is quickly catching on to an informal “digital work week,” which is great for all of us. There’s a general understanding that weekends, or whatever free time your personal schedule dictates, is your own. No one should expect you to be on 24/7, so take advantage. Set personal restrictions on work-related tech time and get your well-deserved R&R!
Disable push notifications for social media
Disabling push notifications (the little sounds, lights, vibrations that happen as soon as a message or event comes through) is a pretty simple step to managing your digital life. Phone calls and work emails are important and probably the last things you want to mute in your day-to-day life. But for less urgent matters like Facebook, Instagram, Bumble, and other similar apps, you can disable the push notifications and feel a little less bombarded by the constant alerts.
It’ll allow you to stay focused on the items that truly need your attention throughout the day. It might amaze you how liberating it is to prioritize the big things like family, friends, work, even your own hobbies without the itch to scroll through social media.
Designate tech-free areas
Want to connect more deeply with your family and friends? Become more productive and be more present for your own self and others? Designate areas of your home and life as tech-free zones.
The dining table is a great place to start. Sharing a meal with family and friends has been an important part of connection and community throughout history. Removing the digital distraction from the dining table allows you to reconnect with your people and truly enjoy each others company in the moment.
Not having technology at the tips of our fingers has shown almost immediate changes physically and psychologically, from our posture to the way we open up and make eye contact, and even the depth of our conversations.
Another place to consider going tech-free is the bedroom for better sleep and more time to let your brain wind down before bed without the stimulating effects of your screens blue light which mimics the effects of UV light emitted by the sun.
Treat it like dessert
Minimalist friends! Did you know you can also go digital minimalist? One way to do it without going extreme is to treat digital, and more specifically social media, time like dessert.
Most people wouldn’t consider eating dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But everyone likes to, and deserves to, indulge on occasion. Give yourself 5-15 minutes per social media platform daily. (Or whatever time frame is right for you.) If you have 4 apps you like to check regularly, that’s an hour out of your day!
Do you know how many apps are on your phone? How many social media accounts do you have?
Another good way to digitally detox is to Marie Kondo your digital life. This doesn’t mean get rid of it all, but keep the ones that are most important, and — here’s our favorite Kondo-ism — bring you the most joy.
Email, bank apps, ones that facilitate your life go in the keep pile. But that random game or music app you don’t even remember downloading? Get rid of it. Decluttering the useless stuff is a good place to start, and might even leave you feeling inspired to really minimize and disable a few of your social media accounts too.
Remember those 4 apps you check on the regular? Cut it down to 2 and you’ve recovered 30 minutes of time to dedicate to your own well-being, whether it’s exercise, a new hobby, or time to chat with a friend.
Just like with anything else in life, it’s great to take little breaks from the digital grind. As much as many of us love to work, we take vacations because we need to, and we deserve to. Plus, studies and experiments have shown great benefits to digital detoxing. Tell us, are you considering a digital detox?