As we’ve been emerged into an abyss of technology with recent events, our minds and eyes have been switched onto technology for hour-by-hour updates and latest breaking news. How has this changed your mannerisms, your world views, and your overall mental health? Have you maybe considered unplugging from social media and technology?
I know, I know. You’re looking at me… or rather the screen of which you’re reading this… and thinking “oh silly girl; I don’t need that”. But guess what? It has been proven time and time again that it is incredibly important to put a pause on technology consumption. Not only for physical health (blue lights = bad), but for mental health, as well.
It’s a big step! But it doesn’t need to be that big. Here are some tips on getting started and the perks it will bring to your professional and personal life.
A majority of the team at Evergreen Media do micro breaks of technology. These are the small, set hours when you’re disconnected from social media and the online world, and completely immersed in what is happening around you.
The best time to stay off devices is typically before you go to bed. According to Sleep.org, surfing the web, engaging with social posts, or checking your emails can stimulate your brain and trick it into becoming “awake” or alert. After an entire day of spending your time around technology, your brain really does need time to unwind before you are able to get a good night’s sleep.
Ready for more than a few hours off of your device? Select a certain length of time to turn them off or to airplane mode and put it away. Seriously. And not in-your-back-pocket / in-your-purse away. I’m talking about keeping it in the kitchen while you’re working on projects across the house or outside. Jesse and Mike (on our EGM team) like to leave their phones behind when they go out and explore the Hills. The impact of physically not being with your phone at all for longer durations of time will not only clear your mind and help you focus on what is in front of you, but it will also give you the space and time to develop character strengths like gratitude, empathy and perspective.
Overall personal wellness is big motivator for those who want to up the ante and mindfully unplug from technology, at least it is for me. Being a content creator, my mind is constantly running when I go online—which I’m sure is the same for you whether you are a business owner, and executive, or a go-getter who is always ready for something new. Do these sound familiar?
“I could do something like that for my business…”
“I wonder what they are doing posting….”
“I love that campaign / post / video…..”
If you’re smirking and thinking of more examples, I think you can really find benefit in disconnecting. I know I have. I try to unplug for one day a week (or an entire weekend each month), and here’s what I’ve found out in what I would call an “Advanced” level of detox.
- I get more done. Before I turn my phone off, I let my family and anyone else that may try to reach me that I’m going “offline”.
- I see more good. Although the online world can be a great place to show the good, it’s also a place for comparison, judging, and a lot of hurtful comments (even if it isn’t directed to you). Getting rid of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) brings a more space to (as Ajo says) JOMO (Joy of Missing Out).
- I extinguish the burnout. When your mind is always on, burnout is just around the corner. Taking time away from work-related tasks helps bring back creativity and rejuvenation for a new month.
Cheers to the experts who have embraced technology minimalism and can do a full 7-day / 30-day detox. I know what you’re thinking… “What?! I have to work!” Hold up… We’re saying unplugging — not going off the grid for a month. Here are a couple guidelines to start with, but alter it to fit your lifestyle.
1. Only check the necessities. For many of us, email and project management tools are a must. Aimlessly scrolling through Instagram… probably not.
2. No AM & PM phone. This means your phone does not go with you everywhere you go. If you need your device for work, then it’s best to take it with you during the day for the necessities. (Tip: Deactivate the accounts you gravitate towards.) But, if you don’t need your phone for work, leave it home! Don’t use it.
Now it’s your turn
The first step to new habits is merely trying it out. Even if you’re hesitant about the whole 30-day thing, start with just a few hours once a week or a weekend. This is purely about you, your wellness, and introducing a simpler way of life. Give it a shot! You might find you really enjoy the peace.
Psst… Your entire team can take a pledge to unplug together! Check out National Day of Unplugging.
Written by Jenna Carda