7 Keys To A Successful Digital Detox
We live in an age of information overload. We are permanently connected to multiple streams of information such as email, Twitter, Facebook and Internet in general. We all stare at our beloved electronics most part of the time, ignoring real people and the world around us. At Goodnet, we believe in the power of getting disconnected in order to reconnect with the world as we used to know it before electronics took over. Here are our seven keys for an inspiring and successful break from all these.
1. Fire Up Your Inspiration
A little bit of excitement before you start will set you on the right track. There are lots of websites on the topic of digital detox, case studies, 30-day challenges and other highly inspirational reads. YouTube is also an excellent source for finding such materials. Take your time and delve into the possibility of getting disconnected for a while. Imagine yourself free from checking your social media accounts every hour. Read how others did it and learn from them.
Tip: Avoid printing out articles you want to save for later. Use an e-reader or a tablet instead and save a tree or two in the process.
2. Set Your Timing Right
In order to increase your chances of a successful digital detox, you have to set yourself a reasonable time frame for it. You need to be realistic and choose a length of time that won’t have a negative impact on your business or on your career. If your job requires you to read and answer email messages every day, you can’t go one month without using your email, that’s for sure. You can try instead to choose a period within the day in which you disconnect yourself from the internet completely. If this period is between 7pm to 7am, it’s possible that it would only have a minimal impact on your life.
Tip: If you don’t know what would work best for you, start with one weekend. Disconnecting over a weekend shouldn’t be very hard to do, as most people would understand if you didn’t answer phone calls or emails during your leisure time.
3. Set Your Boundaries
Make sure you do understand what turning off your digital life really means. What are you ready to cut yourself from? Would you make a difference between work and your personal life? What about watching TV or using social networking sites?
Tip: Make your first digital detox a complete one by cutting every device that’s connected to the Internet or has a bright display. This means you shouldn’t use computers, tablets or smartphones. However, you can still use your Kindle, that’s more like reading a real book than a digital one.
4. Plan To Spend Some Quality Moments During Your Digital Detox
You can’t imagine how much free time you are going to have once you start your digital detox. Screens take a lot of time in our lives, we cannot even realize. Since there won’t be any screens, replace them with faces of family and friends. Take them out to dinner, cook together, play board games or practice your favorite sports. Your body is going to thank you and your friends are going to be happy for the quality time spent with you.
Tip: The good old board and card games never fail. From backgammon and chess to domino and bridge, everything can be a good occasion to have some entertainment.
5. Get Out
Spending time outdoors shouldn’t be optional in your digital detox. Actually, it’s one of the most important things you need to do instead of staring at your computer screen. The more time you spend under direct sunlight, the better. Your body will accelerate the vitamin D production and you are going to experience a positive and happy mood.
Top: All the research needed for planning your outdoor escapes should be done prior to beginning the digital detox, as most information about such activities is online.
6. See The Other Side Of The Coin
Nicholas Carr, the author of the book “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, came up with the theory that we lost our abilities to concentrate and contemplate, the cause being the internet. This is true if we think how we only skim through online articles, without really focusing for too much. You could use your digital detox to read a real book from start to finish.
Tip: If you choose a great book, there are more chances you are going to read it all and enjoy it. Fiction is good for your empathy abilities.
7. Learn As You Go
After your digital detox is over, think about the experience as a whole. Try to see what worked best, what was not so good and what things you have learned from disconnection yourself from your digital life. Think about the next steps you’d like to take. Maybe you think it’s a good idea to have one day of digital detox a week. Why not?
Tip: Do this evaluation in writing, as it helps you organize your thoughts and feelings better.