Remote work, remote learning, remote everything. With our lives changing because of this pandemic, our new normal is everything digital. It can be hard to find a balance between being online for work and leisure time when being online is the only option we have. And all of these notifications can get overwhelming if we don’t take time to manage them. It’s time to conduct a digital detox & get yo life, sis.
Despite this pandemic, we can create healthy boundaries with tech to avoid burnout. Do some digital decluttering with these 10 simple tips:
1. Stick to a schedule.
To wean yourself from the habit of checking your notifications and phone so much, make a schedule. You can start with fifteen- or thirty-minute increments for checking your email and social media. Once you become better at not getting sucked into time-wasting activities, increase that increment to every 45-minutes, then move up to every hour.
Also, set a 5-minute timer to check and respond to the most important things. If your inbox is full, allot an extra ten- to fifteen-minutes to respond to anything that requires your input. Also, it is a good idea to inform friends, family, and colleagues that you will not be answering their calls and messages as quickly as you did previously so that they do not worry or become anxious.
2. Decrease notification settings.
It’s already a challenge to put down our phones, but when it’s making sounds every few minutes, things can get pretty unproductive. You are not obligated to be bombarded with interruptions from your social media platforms or with messages that your favorite online podcast has just uploaded a new topic. Remember, your phone is for your convenience only, so limit the amount of the notifications you receive to stay focused on other things.
3. Back up your files and photos to an external drive.
Make room for new memories and back up your computer files, precious photos and important programs. Buy an inexpensive external drive from your local electronics store or sign up for a cloud account like Dropbox. You’ll free up a ton of hard drive space by deleting unnecessary applications, documents, movies, music and photos.
4. Unsubscribe from promotional emails.
If you’re like me, you probably receive a ton of emails from lists you don’t even remember subscribing to. In the long run, opening all of these messages burns precious time you could spend on doing the things you love. Click through your emails and unsubscribe from at least 10 lists.
5. Delete those apps, sis.
Apps are fun, but also take up A LOT of memory on our phones. They are also very distracting. Much of your phone usage comes from unconscious habit. Without much thinking, people shift from Instagram to Facebook, then check the weather and texts before playing their favorite game or checking their news headlines. However, if you use only specific necessary apps, then this will reduce the amount of time that is wasted on your phone. Try deleting the apps for social media sites and only use the web browser of your phone or laptop to engage. You’ll reduce time on your phone as apps make it too easy to waste time, even after your finished engaging with your followers.
6. Clear your computer desktop.
Since it’s the first thing you see when you turn on your computer, a clear desktop means a clear mind. Create new folders to organize documents and delete the ones you no longer need.
7. Organize your cloud storage.
All it takes is a few minutes and a few named folders to get your cloud storage neat and tidy. Sure it may take some time, but you’ll make up for it with increased work productivity.
8. Clean up your social accounts.
This could include unfollowing accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr, creating Pinterest boards to organize your pins and unliking pages on Facebook you no longer want updates from.
9. Keep your device away from your bed.
Your phone does not have to be the last thing you see before going to sleep at night and the first thing you see in the morning. To avoid the trap of looking at your phone too much, try using an old-school alarm clock instead of your phone.
10. Use a smart speaker.
A smart speaker is valuable because it helps you live a life away from your phone screen. When you have a smart speaker attached to your network via Bluetooth technology, this will prevent you from having to use your phone to turn on podcasts or music; instead, just say your choices to the smart speaker and go about your day, listening and learning instead of being sucked into your phone.
The longer your phone is out of your hands, the more productive you’ll become, and these tips are just the beginning of your lessened dependence on technology. You may even discover that your days feel longer after a digital detox because you’re not distracted with your phone or notifications any longer.