To get into the unplugged groove, start by taking baby steps and keep challenging yourself to cut the cord a bit further every day. Here are a few simple tips for those just starting their digital detox journey—and for those of you who might need a little tune-up:
Get a Little Less Social
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media may keep us feeling connected and part of a larger community, but they are also major time and attention suck. If you want to regain more control over your digital life, slash your social media time by making a commitment to sign in only once or twice per day.
Put the Brakes on Your Email
Combat the influx of emails by putting on the out-of-office notification for a few hours a day, instructing colleagues to call you directly if it’s urgent. You can also turn off incoming email audio pings and alerts, set email preferences to receive emails hourly instead of as they happen or set a timer to remind you to check email once or twice an hour.
Read Like a Kid
If you’re going to read in bed at night, read an old-fashioned book on paper, in low amber light or with a non-LED flashlight, to keep the blue light at bay and make reading in bed less disruptive to sleep. If LEDs are all you’ve got, then try wearing blue-blocker or amber glasses in the evenings to help your brain power down.
Hide Your Smartphone
If you’ve dropped your landline but still need to be able to receive a late night call from the kids, keep the phone close enough so you can hear it ring but keep it face down or covered so the screen doesn’t wake you up when someone emails you in the middle of the night.
Get a “Dumb Watch”
An old-fashioned watch will give you one less reason to constantly check your phone.
Spend Time in Places Where Cell Phone Use is Frowned Upon
Yoga class, group meditation events, houses of worship, the lap lane at the local pool, knitting and quilting circles… you get the picture. None of these activities are compatible with the use of digital devices – so it’s time to check ‘em out!
Schedule Your Detoxing
Be it in Outlook, a planner or a good old wall calendar,