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Are you ready for a digital detox? Whether you find yourself struggling with phone addiction or just want a few ideas to minimize online clutter, these simple suggestions are sure to help you keep digital overwhelm at bay.
We all love our digital doohickies, don’t we!? I certainly do! (And I also like the word doohickies!) My phone, computer, and iPad are critical for helping me stay organized, connected, and on top of my business (in fact, my business wouldn’t exist without my digital devices). But just because something is useful doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. It’s oh-so-easy to get sucked into an online rabbit hole and waste hours, if not days, of our lives.
The following suggestions are things that I personally do or use to help me control my own digital consumption so that I have more time, can think more clearly and have the mental space to walk through each day with intention and grace.
Give one or two or all of them a try and let me know how it goes! And if you have any of your own suggestions, let me know in the comments below – I always love hearing what works for other people!
Turn off push notifications on your phone and other devices
Do you really need to know every time someone likes your pic on Instagram? Probably not! Minimize the distractions and the constant barrage of nagging buzzes and banners by hopping into your phone settings and turning off notifications for all but your most critical applications.
Set your phone Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode every night
Set up your phone to automatically switch to Do Not Disturb between 9:00 pm and 8:00 am every night (or whatever hours suit your schedule). The nice thing about Do Not Disturb is that you can still get calls from specific people in case of emergency. If you want to take it one step further, set your phone to Airplane Mode every night so that nothing will disturb you.
Commit to checking emails and social media only one or two times a day
If your business is online you may need to check in with email and social media more frequently, but the point is to check in mindfully – and then turn off the program or application. We tend to get caught mindlessly surfing emails and scrolling social and can waste a huge amount of time and energy. Limit yourself to checking in just a couple times a day and you will likely find you have much more time for the things that really matter to you.
Unsubscribe from a few email newsletters every day
We’ve all got them – email subscriptions that we don’t really care about (or even remember why we subscribed in the first place). If you don’t enjoy reading it or get some sort of value, why not just click unsubscribe? There is no need to try to tackle every extra newsletter in one sitting – just a few a day is great progress.
Worried about offending the sender? There is really no need. Most likely the individual who sends out the newsletter will never know that you left their list. In fact, they may be grateful to have an unengaged subscriber leave – it costs money to maintain an email list, and paying to send to people who never open or read a newsletter is a waste. So hit that unsubscribe button without guilt.
Delete old emails
Again, no need to do this all at once. Delete a handful every day, and pretty soon your email inbox will be clear, clean, and manageable. If you have emails that you need to hang on to, like receipts, important exchanges, etc., create dedicated folders to store them away out of sight.
Unfollow a few social media accounts every day
If they aren’t really friends, don’t inspire you, or serve some purpose – click that unfollow button. There is simply no need to have things cluttering up your feeds that don’t serve any purpose.
Consider blocking your Facebook feed
If you are a Chrome user, the free News Feed Eradicator for Facebook extension is fantastic! Install it on Chrome, hop over to Facebook, and you will see nothing but an inspirational quote in place of that attention sucking rabbit hole of a newsfeed. Don’t worry, you can still see your notifications, and still keep up with friends you really want to follow by visiting their personal or business pages.
Consider the Moment app
If you are an iPhone user, the Moment app may be perfect for you. The free version will keep track of your phone usage – which can be very revealing and helpful for motivating you to limit your screen time. If you feel like you need a bit more accountability, the premium version will let you know when it’s time to put the phone down and can even limit your usage for you.
Get rid of extra phone apps
Speaking of apps – there is a good chance you have way more apps on your phone than you really need or even want. Take a few minutes and delete any that you don’t use or that tend to distract you more than you like.
Try connecting with the moment rather than plugging in
Waiting in line? Riding a bus? Hanging out at a coffee shop? Rather than picking up your phone to pass the time, make a decision to stay present and be part of the moment. Engage your senses – look around, listen, observe what’s happening. You might be surprised at how beautiful and engaging the world right here surrounding you really is!
Give yourself a real break from emails, social media, and perhaps even everything digital one day a week. A little break once a week is refreshing and creates space and time to really enjoy the present.
Give one or two or all of these suggestions a try and let me know how it goes! And if you have any of your own suggestions, let me know in the comments below – I always love hearing what works for other people!
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All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.