How much time do you spend using technology each day? Is unplugging more often one of your big goals for the year?
Many of us work in front of computers by day and scroll through content on our phones by night. So much of our modern lives are conducted through technology, but all those screens and buttons can take a massive toll on mental health.
Unplugging regularly can help you feel more relaxed, refreshed, and less overwhelmed. It’s not always easy, though. These six tips and tricks can help. Choose a few to try, and enjoy all the extra time you gain during the year.
This should be an easy tip to implement — set your phone and desktop notifications to silent or Do Not Disturb so you don’t get pinged every few minutes.
It’s easy to get lost in your inbox, spending precious hours of your day responding to messages. At the end of the day it might even feel like you didn’t make any progress on actual projects or tasks.
Instead of jumping on every new text or email, choose a handful of times each day to dedicate to email (or texting, social media, and other tools). It will be easier to control how much time you spend on these activities. You can even use a tool like Inbox Pause to ‘pause’ your email during set times.
Do you have any unhealthy technology habits, like checking your phone constantly? Or, perhaps you reach for your smartphone first thing in the morning.
With the latter example, you could make small changes to your environment to start your day off sans-screen. Keep a glass of water by your bed and drink that before doing anything else. Leave your phone next to the dog bowl, reminding yourself to feed the dog first thing in the morning.
The key is to replace the unhealthy habit with an easy-to-accomplish new habit that steadily helps decrease the time you spend on technology while increasing the time you spend doing other things you care about.
When you have a few moments of down time, like while standing in a line or waiting for an appointment to begin, read a book. A Kindle will do the trick, too, but there’s nothing quite like an old-fashioned paperback or hardcover to give your mind a reset.
If you’re spending too much time on specific apps on your phone or tablet, simply delete them. This is particularly helpful with social media, since you can always access the websites on a computer.
Decide on a “bedtime” for technology use each night, and make it a family affair. As a bonus, you’ll sleep better and feel better, because using devices that emit a blue light at night can throw off your body’s biological clock.
Once you’ve unplugged, remember to put that time to good use. Getting outside is a great place to start!