Realizing that you don’t have to be 100% “on” every minute of the day in order to stay on top of things can be a massive relief for your spirit.
1. Realize that you’re not missing out.
Not seeing every single post in your Instagram or Facebook feed is OK. If there is someone you really need to catch up with, pick up the phone. You can also check their individual page instead of scrolling through an entire feed. That way you are selectively choosing versus being subjected to the blast of everyone and their mother’s updates. Just this choice alone will limit your time on social media and open up more time in your day.
2. Unplug for at least an hour a day—and unplug for one whole day per week.
Try it—just this month—and see how it feels. Give yourself the gift of being free to do what you enjoy most, such as reading a book, cooking and eating a meal at the table with no distractions, taking a bath, hiking or walking outside. Tell your colleagues and friends that this is your time off and to not expect responses during that time.
3. Build in at least 1–3 solid vacations (stay-cations count!) a year and purposely hit the off button on all technology!
This can be a great time to recharge, reboot, and prevent burnout. A “Digital Detox” helps you tune back in with your own rhythms and nature’s rhythm, versus keeping up with the pace of the digital world. It’s such a joy to dictate how you spend your time rather than spending so much energy responding to other people’s demands of you.
4. Be in the moment and do one thing at a time.
We’ve all too often been in a conversation with someone or in a meeting and one of us gets a text message or e-mail popping up on the phone. Don’t be that person who picks up the phone in the middle of the conversation to see who texted! Put the phone in airplane mode and out of sight and give your fullest attention to the moment. Here’s a trick: When you’re out to eat with family and/or friends, put all of the phones in the middle of the table face down. The phones have to stay there for the entire meal (no exceptions!). Whoever touches their phone first buys everyone’s dinner. Not only is it a fun game, but it also lets you enjoy a meal together without any outside distractions.
These methods for digital detox will make you happier, more productive, and help you to gain more perspective on your life. The best proof of this is to try it yourself. Once you’ve done a full “unplugging,” chances are you’ll be longing to press the off button more often.