BaxterStorey Lifestyle Coach David Gillick shares some simple ways of digitally detoxing in a world where the smartphone is never more than a stretch away.
We now live in a fast-paced instant world and obtaining information is rapid and on demand, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One reason for this is our essential accessory, the mobile phone.
It has become an instant medium for, well, everything and I often find myself procrastinating on social media and then realising I have been sucked in and wasted precious time. The comparing nature of social media can have negative effects on mental health leading to anxiety, low self-esteem and indeed confidence. Social media has become a show reel of people’s best bits.
If that’s not bad enough, I find I am always on, unable to switch off from the day job, anywhere I go the phones goes, which means I am always accessible. Unplugging is tough. The phone has become a work tool and if an email, phone call or text arrives, I suddenly find myself with an anxious feeling that I need to reply straight away, therefore not focusing on the task I’m currently working on. This can also happen at weekends when I’m meant to be engaging with family or friends.
I soon realised that I was spending too much time on my phone, from the minute it wakes me up in the morning until I turn off the bedroom light. I decided to try and break the habit and form some new ones. As hard as it was, it has definitely been a positive and I feel better for it.
We all need regular digital detox time and some basic tips can go a long way. Talking to people face to face instead of sending an email, leaving the phone at your desk whilst having lunch and not having the phone at the family dinner table are just a few of the ways you can break the habit.
Ever lost, broken or left a phone behind? Although you can feel cut off from the world, the choice to be in communication is taken away from you and there is something quite calming about it.
My digital detox tips;
- Invest in a standard alarm clock, not your phone.
- No phone at meal times
- Deleting some apps from the phone
- A no phone zone or no phone night
- Charge phone in kitchen at night, not beside the bed
- Don’t be afraid to turn the phone off
- Don’t send a late-night work email and don’t expect a reply to a late-night work email
- Turn off your notifications