It is a good idea for all of us to get unplugged from technology at times. This does not mean that we have to completely disconnect for the rest of our lives or hide out in a mountain cabin to avoid the lure of technology.
Distractions can keep you from focusing on the truly important elements in life. The good news is that your connection to the online world does not have to dominate your life! You can regain control of your life and find ways to reduce your connection to technology without having to be completely disengaged from it all the time if you apply these practical tips.
1. Construct a space that does not house any technology.
It’s near impossible to forego technology completely in your life but you can certainly remove it from your private living quarters. This way you won’t be distracted during down time. Move your laptop, tablet, and mobile phone into a separate space; a spare bedroom or your home office are great locations. You do not have to be with your technology twenty-four hours per day. By placing your technology in a separate space, this means that you have to go there to access your devices. Consider this a boundary issue where you have to make a conscious decision to use the technology. That old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind,” is on target in this example. This strategy will reduce the number of times that you engage with your technology.
2. Avoid placing your phone near your bed.
Your sleep is disrupted because of light that is transmitted from phones and tablets. It is difficult for the brain to turn off as a result, which makes it harder to fall asleep. When your device is not near your bed, you will not be checking it before you go to sleep or when you first get up. You will feel more relaxed and will be better rested. The same is true with televisions so avoid falling asleep with the TV on. I have a small phone holder from IKEA on my bedside table that I place my phone in nightly. I use the sleeping focus at night and turn the phone around as well so I am not seeing any light from the phone itself.
3. Designate one day or night per week to go Totally off the grid.
We all rely on being connected and clients do expect us to be available. But designating one day or night per week when you are away from your phone, tablet, or computer will allow you to re-engage with yourself, your family, and friends. Do inform close contacts of this time that you will be disengaging from the online world, so that they will not worry about you and will not feel snubbed.
4. Engage in more activities that are not related to being online.
Learn to relax and embrace peace and quiet by performing activities that do not require access to technology. Go biking or hiking to enjoy the great outdoors. Or maybe you just need an extra-long visit to the backyard or gazebo, where you have not been able to spend much time lately. Spend some time reading or learning more of that language you have always wanted to learn.
5. Spend more time with your friends in person.
Instead of spending an hour or so texting with a friend that lives nearby, tell the person that you would rather chat in person. Meet up for coffee at your place or a nearby cafe. Bonding in person will revitalize both of you. If you can’t meet in person, make a phone date so you can enjoy that one-on-one attention and conversation.
Technology is a wonderful invention but if we don’t create our own usage rules or boundaries, it can overtake our lives. Finding a balance can be tricky but not impossible if you start off with these tips.