There’s a lot of talk about how technology is making people more distracted and less productive. But there’s another way to look at it: we can use the same tech to help us focus on the present, stay on task, and feel less stressed out. In this blog post I’ll show you how using some simple steps can help you detoxify your digital life while increasing your productivity and happiness in the process!
How to stay focused on the present
The first step is to set a timer for 10 minutes.
Now, forget about the past and think only of the present moment. How do you feel? What are you doing? Are there sounds around you? What are they like? What do they sound like in detail: a bird chirping, wind rustling through leaves, traffic outside your window? If possible, close your eyes for this exercise (though if that makes it hard for you to focus on what’s going on around you then keep them open).
Focus only on breathing in and out through your nose — feeling how air passes from inside of your body all the way through each nostril and then out into the air again — until time runs out!
Limit social media to increase productivity
Social media can be a distraction. Social media is great for promoting your work, but it can also distract you from the task at hand. It’s easy to get lost in the constant stream of new content and end up spending more time scrolling through social media than actually working on a project.
Social media can waste your time. If you spend too much time on social media, you run the risk of missing out on opportunities or feeling like your life isn’t productive because all of your work is done via text message or email (and not in person).
Social media makes people feel bad about themselves. You may think that posting selfies will make people see how happy and successful you are—but instead they’ll see how beautiful and confident other people are while they’re sitting at their desks trying to pretend they’re not jealous! It’s easy for us as humans to compare ourselves with others online because we don’t know what goes into creating these images or videos—we only see what’s presented before us (and it could be staged!). This can lead some users down an unhealthy path where they constantly measure themselves up against others’ digital lives instead of focusing on their own accomplishments.”
Check your emails less frequently
Set a time limit for checking emails.
Don’t check your email when you first wake up. Start the day with some positive energy, instead of a mountain of stress in your inbox.
Don’t check it at night, either—especially if you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep. The blue light from the screen can keep you awake longer than necessary, and compound any issues related to insomnia or stress that may already exist.
Avoid checking it on weekends and holidays—even if someone is trying to contact you urgently (they probably aren’t). Just because they’re sending an email doesn’t mean they’re expecting an immediate response! Leave some space to breathe and enjoy yourself without feeling guilty all weekend long about how many messages haven’t received replies yet!
Give yourself a break
A digital detox is a great way to give yourself a break from the constant pressure of having to be connected, and it can help you focus on what’s most important in your life.
Every so often, take a break from your phone, your laptop, tablet or computer. Take some time to just be with the people around you (or alone). It might seem odd at first but after awhile it will feel more natural—and even refreshing!
Avoid using electronic devices before bedtime
Avoid using electronic devices before bed. If you want to avoid poor sleep quality, disrupting your circadian rhythm and having trouble falling asleep, avoid using electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. The light from these devices can make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Turn off notifications of social media apps
One of the best ways to avoid distraction is to turn off notifications that come from social media apps. This means turning off all of your notifications on Facebook and Instagram, for example, so you only see them when you choose to look at them.
If you’re worried about missing something important or urgent in one of these apps, set aside some time in the day specifically for checking them (like in your break between classes). That way if someone posts something important—like an emergency message from a friend who’s sick or lost their wallet—you’ll still be able to see it.
Unplug in order to be more mindful at work
Take a break from your phone by using a notebook and pen.
Stand up and walk around for a few minutes (this counts as exercise!).
Use some sort of timer to set a time limit, like an egg timer or the countdown timer on your phone.
Download an app like Headspace or Insight Timer that can help guide you through meditation exercises (or just use Google).
A digital detox can help you feel better and more productive and focused.
The benefits of a digital detox are numerous and varied, and the research behind them is robust. A digital detox can help you feel better, more productive and focused. It can also bring about greater mindfulness—an important aspect of mental health.
You’ll have time to work on other projects that may not be possible when you’re constantly distracted by your phone or computer.
You’ll be able to give yourself a break from the digital world for an hour or two at least once per day (or every day).
The key to digital detox is not about going cold turkey, but rather finding ways you can manage your social media consumption. It’s by limiting our exposure to technology that we can live more in the moment and be more productive at work. You don’t have to quit social media entirely if it makes sense for your professional needs—but taking some time off from it every now and then will help keep your mind clear so that when the time comes for some good old-fashioned face-to-face communication (like during an actual conversation), you won’t miss anything!