In this day and age, technology is an integral part of our lives. But to truly reap the benefits you should moderate how and when you use it.
The average smartphone user checks their device 150 times a day. But burying your face in a screen for a large part of the day can negatively affect your mental and physical health.
Although living without technology isn’t a viable option for most, there are things we can all do to cut down on our screen time. Here are some easy ways you can detach from your device on a daily basis:
- Start your day right – Instead of reaching for your phone as soon as you wake up, spend some time doing other things, such as stretching or meditating. You’ll have a more productive and relaxed day.
- Leave your smartphone at home – If this is too hard, limit your use to only essential phone calls and texts.
- Stay busy – Fill your day so there is little time for online activities between work, family time, meals and sleep. Even if you do this just a few days a week, it can significantly reduce your time online.
- Go on a digital diet – Track how many times a day you check your emails, surf the web, or browse social media – and then reduce it by 10 percent. Another strategy is scheduling time each day when you can use your devices to play games, chat with friends and upload pics. But once that time is over, you need to switch off your device.
- Involve your family and friends – Make yourself accountable by telling your friends and family about your digital detox. Ask them to call you out if you duck off to write an email or keep your phone on the table during dinner. Just knowing they’re watching out for you will help you stay unplugged.
- Eliminate temptation – Give your phone to your partner for an hour or two while you do something else. Another option is spending time at a place that doesn’t have internet access.
- Set a strict technology bedtime – We’ve known for some time that the blue light from our screens can disrupt sleeping patterns. But most of us can’t resist one last peek at the phone before bed. Experts recommend setting your technology bedtime two hours before your actual bedtime to give you enough time to wind down.
- Just switch off – When it comes down to it, all you have to do is switch off. Get into the habit of turning off your device instead of turning on the screen saver. Don’t race to answer messages or calls — get into the habit of letting them go to voicemail and then check in from time to time. Build a routine so that you are online for part of the day, but offline for the rest of the day, focusing on work, enjoying life or just relaxing.
If you’re not careful, your technology use can spiral out of control and impact your quality of life. Cell phones, tablets and computers have the potential to make your life easier – but they don’t always make it better. Click here for a few reasons to take a break from your devices.