01 Jan 7 Realistic Digital Detox Resolutions for 2020
Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed the festive season and are looking forward to 2020 as much as we are. It’s not just a new year but a new decade! So, it’s a perfect time for rethinking any aspects of our lives that we’d really like to change. Why not include some digital detox resolutions this year too? We’re suggesting seven which are deceptively simple and will make a big difference to your physical and mental health as we enter the 2020s. Handily, digital detoxing will also help you with your other goals as you’ll have more time to go to the gym, more focus for that new language learning and be all-round more energised.
Let’s make the most of the new decade and use it to change our tech habits for the better!
7 Digital Detox Resolutions for a Healthier, Happier New Decade
#1 Finally get an alarm clock
Ever since the dawn of Time to Log Off we’ve been advocating the importance of alarm clocks. Our sleep is one of the most impacted areas of our life by screens. This is because we check them last thing at night and use them as alarms first thing in the morning. No wonder 47% of adults miss sleep due to internet usage! So if you haven’t got one by now, this year really is the time to make the leap. Take away the excuse of needing to wake-up to your phone and buy an alarm clock so you can leave your device outside your door and get your first good night’s sleep in years.
#2 Declutter notifications
We don’t need to tell you how easy it is to get swept up in text conversations or overwhelmed by a pressure to keep up with a group chat when you’re supposed to be doing something else. It’s detrimental to focus and stops us from being able to do our jobs properly. So, do a digital declutter and look through your apps – deciding which ones you really need notifications from. Do you need to know every time a distant ex-colleague posts on LinkedIn? Or when a family member posts on Facebook about their laundry? Start the decade by Marie-Kondo’ing your apps and only keep notifications from those that bring you joy – or those that help you keep your job!
We’re not suggesting you never take your phone out ever again, but do you really need it to walk the dog, pop to the shops or take out the bins? We take our phones everywhere! This year we challenge you to try going out without your phone once a week and feel the relief you experience when you’re not available to anyone and can relax. It will help you exercise your navigation skills too.
#4 Introduce the ‘digital pause’ a mini digital detox every day
Getting a better balance with tech doesn’t mean that you ban yourself from looking at your phone for days. A helpful digital pause could be choosing not to check it while commuting, or until after breakfast, or once you have brushed your teeth at night. All of these micro moments off-screen will give you more time to focus on your other resolutions and to think without distraction – and you’ll feel better for it.
#5 Set boundaries for availability
After you’ve decluttered notifications and planned your digital pause, you might also want to set boundaries with people in your life about when you will be available. We’ve found ourselves in a 24/7 culture where it’s somehow totally OK to receive and respond to work emails past work hours, for friends to text at all time of night, and for everyone to be seriously annoyed if you don’t answer immediately. For our own mental health sometimes we need to be inaccessible, at least for a little while. The easiest excuse to give for avoiding any kind of digital detox is to say you worry someone can’t get hold of you. So, set clear boundaries such as ‘I won’t respond to work emails on Sunday’ or ‘I don’t check WhatsApp until lunch’. People who need to contact you will find another way, and you’ll be able to take time off screens without stressing.
‘Phubbing’ is the term coined for looking at your phone when you are with other people, snubbing them for your screen. Frankly, it’s rude and we all find it annoying, especially after this holiday season, so try and lead by example this year and don’t take out your phone when you are with your friends! Perhaps it will lead to a conversation about screen use with other people in your life.
#7 Listen to our podcast!
Each episode of our digital detox podcast ‘It’s Complicated’ is filled with fascinating advice from people of all walks of life on how they manage their screen use. If you’re encountering a particular problem – such as that your career is online, or you’re dealing with online dating – turn to our podcast, our guests will have the answers!
We hope our seven suggestions for realistic digital detox resolutions will help you to achieve a better tech life balance balance this year – and a healthier and happier life all round. Good luck!