Should you do a Digital Detox?
Updated: Nov 24
"Boredom is the space in which creativity and imagination happen"- Harvard Medical School
The average American spends nearly half of every day staring at a screen, and sometimes our bodies pay the price. The act of staring at screen right now is a global problem, not only restricted to certain geographic locations.
To combat digital eye strain which can cause dryness, blurred vision, and headaches, its generally suggested to follow the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes you look at a screen, look up and at an object 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds.
Interestingly, on average participants take about 23 minutes to get back on task after a distraction. Potentially, that “important” email could mean 23 minutes from what’s meaningful. So, the screen time doesn't just affect our health and wellness but also impacts our work efficiencies. It's a common knowledge by now that switching task (any kind), is detrimental to time management and getting the work done.
Your phone is probably your identity and you carry it everywhere with you. You are more engaged with the apps than with your own life. Even when you switch off the television, you perhaps switch on to Netflix or Facebook on a tablet or phone.
Being at home during this pandemic has been bad for routines and schedules because now you can just wake up and login to work. So you also take the liberty to stay up at night and indulge in additional screen time.
For me things got worse perhaps like you, when I started waking up right before my scheduled login, gulp coffee and skip my exercise routine that took me months to build.
Every night would be the last night I would indulge myself watching Netflix. I finally had to take a stand- I took a week off to fix my schedule and that led to my digital detox. I didn't open up my work laptop nor did I write a blog or post on Youtube.
As my first task of Digital detox, I cleaned up my email inbox and unsubscribed to many. My notifications were already off but the inbox was taking a toll so I had cleaned it up.
To do List for creating a digital detox lifestyle:
1. Be merciless- Unsubscribe/delete if you haven't read that email in last 3 months, we could use less of emails really that nudge us to buy more things or do more of anything. Humans didn't evolve to stare at bright screens all day. And our eyes are suffering the consequences. An estimated 58% of people who work on computers experience what's called Computer Vision Syndrome and that included eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches and neck and back pain.
2. No notifications- I had them off, but I took them all out. You can check when you want to check. In this, you and me we are taking back the power of being the boss. Adopting minimalism for improved lifestyle by keeping it bare bone in matters of apps and non stop connection to the digital world should be the step we all adopt before the year ends.
3. No TV- Going noise free allows so much time to think, read and just be on your own and perhaps finally sleep. Uninterrupted. In my time off, I ended up slept for 12 hours a day for a week, not even realising I was sleep deprived.
4. Do nothing- It's actually good for you. We are so corned into guilt of being unproductive that we don't realise being empty minded allows us to be more creative and find solutions. adding some free time/me time in our routines and schedules might be a god way to start practicing digital detox in our busy lives.
5. Sleep- Benefits are endless, whether its the blue light or too much of screen time (just not an issue for kids anymore) or information overload, we need to sleep. To know more about how much you need to sleep click here.
6. Regain balance- See more green, go for walks, rest when you can and feel the power of being rested. Chances are like me the stiff neck will go away and you will be ready for more creativity and life.
7. End the cycle- We don't need to go back to the same life, its always a choice. However if you don't have the option to disconnect or your screen time is way high, at least take off once in three months or when you can. Fix bedtime and me time and keep them digital free zones. Be aware of your screen time usage, whether its through tracking data in your phone or looking at your schedule, be wise, pay attention and take control of your life.
You can also watch the video here
So, what do you think? Is this you? Have you been trying to get into digital detoxification? Let me know if you are trying it out before the year ends. God Luck and Stay Safe.