Today, digital detoxing is no longer restricted to a secluded seven-day hideaway; we integrate it into our everyday lives.
Interestingly, the trend is being led by the tech industry, with companies including Google running courses for staff such as Search Inside Yourself to encourage mindfulness in the workplace. We will see more tech-free spaces in offices where workers can focus on completing tasks to the highest standard without being distracted by emails. There might even be a mandatory gadget-free portion of the working day.
Similarly, the out-of-office demands on an employer’s connectivity are bound to become more stringent as an increasing number of reports are surfacing on the unhealthy effect of the ‘‘always-on culture’’ – an ethos in conflict with the European Working Time Directive. Pople will start to reclaim their weekends and evenings. The effects will prove that employees become more energetic and focused within their working hours.
This year, companies including Daimler introduced an out-of-office auto-delete option, whereby all emails that arrive in our in boxes while we’re on holiday are automatically deleted and must be resent on our return. This could apply to mail sent on weekends, too, forcing us to take a break by restricting our working hours. More venues within the big cities are opening device-free events to encourage guests to be engaged.
Even residential streets in busy areas of London are already erecting ‘‘no mobile phones past this point’’ signage at their openings. Could this be a sign that whole areas will become quiet zones?
Ultimately the most important focus today will be ensuring that we don’t have to escape to far-away lands to get serious time off.
Health advisers and clued-up employers will encourage digital detoxing in our daily lives in to give human beings the time and space they need to reach their full potential.
Do you want to do a digital detox?
When was the last time you switched off for 24 hours? If the answer is “I can’t remember” a digital detox could be what you need.
A digital detox is a great way to stay productive and balanced in a wired world.
Day to day in the digital world, we face near constant demands for our attention. And if we don’t let ourselves recharge and reboot, this can mean we quickly burn out or become inefficient.
By doing a digital detox, we give ourselves chance to step back temporarily. When we return, recharged, we’re more productive and have a different perspective. We’re also likely to have at least one great idea while we’re ‘not thinking about it’.
Why is this? Partly because while we’re doing a digital detox we’re allowing our thoughts and conversations to get all the way to their conclusion – rather than a smartphone interrupting by pinging every five minutes.
A digital detox is also good for our health and our relationships. A digital detox is an ideal chance to spend time in nature. It gives us chance to get back in tune with our own rhythms and the rhythms of nature, rather than trying to ‘keep up’ with the pace of the digital world. It lets us dictate how we spend our own time, rather than spending all our time answering other people’s demands.
A digital detox gives us chance to spend time on the things and people who matter to us. This also means that when we get back to our desks, we’re focused again and ready to work.
Got some free time ahead? Tempted to swap a spot of scrolling, a bit of surfing, or another dose of information overload for a digital detox?
Here’s how to go about it:
What is a digital detox
A digital detox is switching off all mobiles, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers for a certain length of time.This enables you to spend screen-free time doing whatever you enjoy. A digital detox is also a chance to recharge and rest.A digital detox should ideally be around 24 hours long as a minimum. It can be 72 hours or more if you want to build up to that.
How do you do a digital detox?
Anyone can do a digital detox simply by pressing the off button on digital devices. In a world where we’re so used to being constantly connected, this can be surprisingly difficult to do, however.
Prepare for your digital detox by thinking about some of these things:
Remind yourself why you want to do a digital detox. Is it as an experiment to see what it feels like to go the opposite way in an increasingly connected world? Is it because you need to recharge your batteries? Do you want valuable thinking time? Or to spend quality time with people who matter to you?
Time for a detox
Plan your digital detox. Choose a time that’s realistic for you to switch off for 24 hours or more. Weekends and holidays are great times to try a digital detox. Put ‘digital detox’ in your diary if it helps. Tell anyone you need to that you’ll be away from your email and smartphone. It’s common for people to announce on social media that they’re about to do a #digitaldetox and you can do that too if you want.
Make some plans
Plan enjoyable activities for your time switched off. These can be things like cooking, walking, or spending time with friends and family. You could pick up a neglected hobby or spend time reading. You might choose to explore the city you live in or somewhere new. Spending time in nature is a great thing to do, as it is a proven way to restore your attention.
Straight after switching off, you might feel a sense of unease, and will perhaps have a strong urge to check your phone or computer. Just wait, and these feelings should pass. Get on with the non-screen activities you had planned, and start to notice the time and space you’ve given yourself.
During a digital detox, there tends to be a feeling of having plenty of time (rather than rushing against time). You may well sleep better, think more clearly and more deeply, and feel re-energised. Enjoy the change and notice your reaction to not being ‘on call’.
The return to the digital world can be overwhelming at first. A barrage of information and multiple demands can seem too much. But use the perspective you have gained. Redefine what is urgent, what is important, and what doesn’t even need to be done. Unsubscribe to any email lists you no longer need. Try new behaviours, such as checking email or social media less frequently.by