Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Do you need a digital cleanse? Here's how


Let's face it, in today's age, we are more connected to phones, tablets, and laptops than we are to each other in some instances. We're more likely to text, email or type than talk face-to-face or pick up the phone and I for one feel a little disconnected by all of this connectivity. I'm making a conscious effort to be digitally productive and am starting with a digital detox to rid me of some of the habits I've become attached to.

The New Year is a great time to have a digital cleanse and a little time out from a 24/7 world.

Here's how to digitally cleanse and the steps I've taken so far this year:


1. Streamline your email inbox.

Unsubscribing from all of that promotional and junk mail is so very SATISFYING! It's so time efficient too - now rather than trawling through heaps of junk mail, deleting, feeling overwhelmed by the fact I have taken a 30 minute break from my computer and returned to 46 emails, I now know I only receive genuine, actionable emails. This also means, that I don't have 'the fear' of being away from my emails for too long in case they build up. I can check my inbox periodically in the day and that leads nicely on to step number two...

2. Set clear time parameters.

I set clear time parameters as to when I check email, social media and my phone. Now I'm not going all regimented, but I make a conscious effort in the mornings to not check my phone until I am on the train on my commute. I use the time on my journey to catch up, get set up for the day, catch up with friends, and update my social media channels for the day. By the time I get to the office, my urgent emails have been dealt with and I can get started on my important tasks for the day and not get digitally side tracked! I'll check emails every few hours to keep on top of any urgent tasks, my phone at lunchtime, then do the same morning train routine on the commute home.

3. Sleep with your phone OUTSIDE your bedroom.

This might sound crazy - but the best thing you can invest in is an alarm clock! Leaving your phone outside your bedroom will stop the blue light disturbing your sleep and stop you checking your phone last thing at night and first thing in the morning. I've been getting the best night's sleep reading a paper book before bed and leaving my phone in another room!

4. Leave your devices indoors.

Once per day, I like to take a walk, go out to lunch, or just get out and about without my phone. That’s right I leave it indoors, in my bag or at my desk. I completely remove myself from all digital devices, my computer at my desk, phone is left indoors, tablets aren’t anywhere to be seen and for a good 10 minutes to half an hour at the very least, I am completely disconnected.

5. Track your screentime.
 
Download an app like Moment and it will track your screen time - it may well shock and surprise you! When you know how much time you are spending on your digital devices and you consider that you could take up a new hobby, spend time on a freelance project, or even just meditate and take some time out for a little mindfulness it might make you think twice.

Are you considering a digital detox or cleanse this New Year or have you thought about how much time you spend online?

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