5 ways to start a digital detox

I recently did a 48 hour digital detox (read about it here). The motivation for this was a desire to stop consuming so much via my cell phone, and hopefully start creating more. Based on a LOT of research I did (and my own field trials), here are 5 ways I found to effectively ease into a digital detox…

  1. Turn off all notifications. Phone, laptop, desktop, iPod, etc. This is a critical first step.
  2. Check email only twice a day. If necessary, create an auto-responder explaining why.
  3. Don’t sleep with your cell phone next to the bed. That way, you won’t check it every time you open your eyes.
  4. When you wake up, wait at least 30 minutes before opening your laptop or checking your phone. Turn off all digital devices 30 minutes before going to bed.
  5. Stop bringing your cell phone to places where you don’t need it: at your desk, at the dinner table, while working out at the gym, and the yoga studio (my personal pet peeve, soon to be the subject of a future article).

Finally, try this experiment: next time you have an urge to check your phone out of boredom or habit, take out a pad or notebook and write down your thoughts. Ideas, observations, song lyrics, nonsense words, drawings…you might surprise yourself with what you come up with. I’ve recently started carrying around this notebook (<rewards link), and it’s helped me to focus my thoughts as well as keep my phone safely stowed in my bag.

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