According to Ofcom the average Brit now spends more time online than sleeping. If you find yourself in the middle of a tech tug of war, it might be time for a digital detox. We bring you the Ultimate 10 Step Digital Detox (your brain will thank you)
We love tech, it enables you to do tons of stuff that you’d never manage without it. There’s no doubt, it has transformed the world, mostly for the better. The problem is, it can be addictive. When you’re constantly connected to tech, you’re disconnected from the real world.
Your brain on social media
Your brain on social media has a shorter attention span than a goldfish (8 seconds to be exact). All that really happens is that your error rate increases when you think you’re multi tasking and clearing the decks (you’re not). Digital addiction is harmful to our health, our self esteem and our brains.
On our resilience masterclasses, digital detoxing comes up time and time again. Participants tell us that they feel exhausted when they’re plugged in. Constant connection leaves them on the brink of burnout. We’re always asked the best way to unplug, to take the first steps towards a digital detox. If you recognise your own inability to unplug, maybe it’s time for a digital divorce. Here’s how.
10 Steps to Digital Detox
1.Don’t go cold turkey. Be realistic. There’s lots of great stuff about tech, cutting it out completely is not very likely. Digital detox is about moderation not punishing yourself. Bringing mindfulness to your digital use will pay dividends and help you to unplug painlessly.
2. Delete social media apps. Take apps and alerts off your phone and only use them on your desktop. This will give you an easy win with your digital diet. If they’re not readily to hand, you’ll be less tempted.
3. Make a list of all of your gadgets. List them all and then create a schedule of how much time you will spend on each. If you have the facility on your device, set a timer for the device to close after the time you have allocated or use a tracking app such as social fever
4. Consider tech free meals. Eat without tech at the table. Use it as an opportunity to build your focus by practising mindful eating.
5. Phone stacking. When you go into a meeting at work, or you sit down with friends, place your phones in a stack on the table so that you are less tempted to constantly check emails, texts and updates.
6. Invest in an alarm clock. Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock. Why? After you’ve turned that alarm off your next step is usually to start scrolling. Invest in an alarm clock instead and leave the phone outside of the bedroom.
7. Commit to a cut off. If you’re pulled into night time emails and find yourself working to silly o’clock, it’s time to put the breaks on. The business world is recognising that working late into the night depletes people, draining them and eating into crucial renewal time.
That’s why companies like VW are turning servers off around 7pm. You can do the same by setting a time each day when you stop work for good. Your performance will improve as a result.
8. Take a lunch break. This doesn’t mean eating at your desk. When you continue working at your desk, or flicking through your phone, you’ll barely notice that you’ve eaten (where did that sandwich go?). Even if you take a short lunch break away from your desk you’ll feel renewed in the afternoon. Your brain will thank you for pressing pause.
9. Keep your bedroom gadget free. Develop a sleep hygiene routine that includes no tech at least an hour before bedtime. Think of it as waking up in reverse. In the same way you wash your face, shower and grab coffee in the morning to wake up, you can wind down by creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
Think warm bath, night time tea and no devices in the run up to bed so that you optimise your chances of a good night’s sleep.
10. Switch to flight mode. When you’re not using your phone, switch to flight mode. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued guidelines on how to minimise the radiation risks of mobile phone usage.
This includes not carrying your phone in your pocket, bra (yes, people do that) or anywhere close to your body. It also recommends switching devices off at night. If your phone must be in the bedroom, place it at least 6 feet away from your head.
The CDPH recommends switching to flight mode to reduce the amount of radiation emitted when your phone is searching for a signal. if you’re not using your phone, flight mode reduces the risk.
We love talking about resilience and optimising performance. That’s why we’ve worked with thousands of people and Fortune 100 companies to provide resilience at work and stress management training courses executive resilience coaching.
Want to know more? take a look at our Free Resilience Toolkit or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.