Since starting my own business I seem to spend a huge amount of time on my phone and laptop. I like to respond to queries and my clients immediately, even at weekends, which tips my work life balance the wrong way. One of my New Year Resolution’s was to have a cut off time for all digital devices each evening and at weekends. To be honest, it’s something I’m not doing very well at so I need to be more strict with myself!
A few weeks ago Nicky and I drove home to visit our family and decided that we wouldn’t switch the radio on, or check our phones during the 2.5 hour journey. We pretty much talked non-stop about our plans for the future and surprised each other (in a good way!) about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to eventually settle.
Due to a long flight on Thursday, I had a forced 24 hour digital detox and it was a relief knowing that I couldn’t check my phone. It did get me thinking what the benefits of a digital detox are, so I thought it would be useful to share them:
Benefits of a Digital Detox:
1. Relax/Think more. If your phone or tablet isn’t beeping, buzzing or vibrating in your pocket every few seconds you can relax more and focus on the here and now. Try to do something without your phone attached to you, maybe go for a walk (or a long flight!). You will find that you focus on what is around you instead of a screen. It gives you time to think about your next adventure or how you can solve a problem you may have.
2. Connect with those around you. Not staring at your phone will mean you have to talk to the person next to you. Chat about anything – share your thoughts, your dreams and make plans. It might even improve your relationship.
3. Increased productivity. Like any other muscle in your body, the brain gets tired with too much activity. Regular breaks from digital devices allows the brain to rest, giving it renewed energy to push through challenging activities. Taking a break from technology will also show you just how much time you waste on it.
4. Improved Physical Health. Chances are you are sat down when looking at a device. Obesity problems are linked to bad lifestyles, so get up, get rid of the device and get active! You will feel so much better for it.
5. Improved quality of sleep. When your body knows it’s time to sleep, your brain releases a chemical called melatonin which helps you relax and prepare for sleep. Looking at your phone will trick your brain into thinking it needs to stay alert and the melatonin won’t be released. Try to stay off any devices for at least an hour before bedtime. I guarantee that you will sleep better.
Try staying away from the devices for a short period every day and see if you notice a difference in any of the benefits listed above. Give it a go!
Make the Change