by Josh Millar
Our digital devices are meant to be tools to make our lives better. But too often, the tables turn without our fully realizing. Instead of supporting our success, our devices start adding to our stress. This is why digital detoxes have become so popular. It’s a way for people to take back control from the technology in their day-to-day lives. The more we learn, the more we realize much of this technology was designed to be addictive. And even though it may feel like a necessity for work, it’s often in overdrive. Getting rid of all things digital for good, of course, isn’t the goal. Instead, the goal is to give our minds a break from the constant connection and to put technology back into our lives in an intentional way after the detox. Let’s take a closer look:
Fairly self-explanatory, a digital detox is a set period of time where you completely disconnect from all technology. No social media, no checking email, no texting, no screens.
There are so many reasons to try a digital detox. First, this experience can give you some great insight into how technology fits into your life. Just notice how you feel in the first few hours without a device. Many people find themselves anxious, restless, and uncomfortable. It’s worth observing how you respond here.
Next, technology is a major source of stress for many of us. It keeps us constantly plugged into our work, making it difficult to find a healthy work-life balance. Chronically high stress levels aren’t good for us on multiple levels, and stress tends to breed more stress. By eliminating so many stressors, you give your body and mind a chance to relax and recharge. Coming back to your work with lower stress levels tends to mean greater productivity, focus, and enjoyment.
Another area where technology can be sabotaging our success is our sleep. When we’re not well rested we can’t perform at our best. And so much screen time, as well as the stress connected to it, often prevents us from getting a good night’s rest. There’s no surprise that we work better on adequate sleep.
Then there’s the aspect of what we’re actually doing with our technology and how that affects our thinking. For some, being on social media causes a comparison effect with other professionals that makes them dissatisfied with their own progress. For others, the constant stimulation reduces creativity thinking and problem-solving skills. When you think about how much time many of us spend in front of a screen, there’s no doubt that this is having some impact on the way we think.
If you’re interested in giving your brain a chance to detox from all the tech, I highly recommend it. The good news is you can design the detox yourself. There’s no one right way to do it. For many, a great place to start is a weekend detox. Block off your next Saturday and Sunday to be completely screen free. The key is simply unplugging from all tech for the entire time.
What do you think? Have you tried a digital detox? Do you feel like you need one? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.