Tech Detox: Put down your phone

When we think of a detox we’re usually referring to our diet.

But how about our habits. It’s important every now and then to stop and analyse your daily routine and figure out ways to improve upon it.

As a marketing manager I am glued to my phone. While I can use the excuse that most of this is for professional reasons, it’s also incredibly addictive and a hard habit to break.

Over the Easter long weekend, I took a road trip to the New South Wales Countryside. To both my pleasure and dismay, the phone reception was dreadful. This became a situationally imposed technology detox.

After the first ping of panic had subsided, I realised I could completely switch off, which in the end of the day is why I chose the getaway in the first place.

It’s only once you break a habit do you realise what the effects of it really are. How many of us wake up every morning to an alarm on our phone and notifications from our emails, texts and social media accounts.

I purposely wake up 20 minutes early, so I have 20 minutes to catch up on anything I missed while I was sleeping. A screen is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night. That can’t be good for me, right?

So how can we impose rules on our technology use without compromising our work or social lives? Start with the basics.

No screens while you’re eating – especially if you’re sharing a meal with someone else.
If I’m on a date we have a no phone policy. There is nothing worse than seeing a couple at a restaurant looking at their phones rather than each other.

It sounds easy enough but be conscious to avoid looking at your phone even when your significant other goes to the bathroom. Phones have become our safety blanket. We need to learn to be ok on our own.

Do not take your phone into the toilet
For one its incredibly unhygienic. More importantly though, think what you’re achieving by looking at it during this time. No one is sending an important email to their boss while they are on the loo.

You’re most likely mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. If it’s not actively contributing to your life or your work, then you could do without it.

Exercise without your phone
Whether you are walking the dog, doing a spin class or lifting weights try and leave your phone at home or in the gym locker. If you’re outside, appreciate being outside and just listen to nature.

If you’re in a gym then most likely they are playing music through the speakers anyway. Also, take notice how many people around you are glued to their phones. Sometimes you only need to examine the world around you to realise how detached we really are.

Don’t keep your phone next to your bed
I’ve recently started putting my phone on charge and leaving it in my bathroom once I take my makeup off. That’s usually an hour before I go to bed. Instead of watching TV, I’m trying to focus on reading or talking to my partner.

Once the phone is on charge, I don’t touch it until the morning. I love that my phone is in another room from me as it means notifications won’t disturb me throughout the night.

Spend one day a week phone free
This is the hardest one for me, but usually Sunday is my homebody day. I like to go for a walk, treat myself to breakfast outside, tidy the house, take a nap and maybe catch up with family or friends. This is a day that requires very little communication with the outside world, so a perfect day to go phone free.

If you can’t make it through the whole day, then start with a few hours and slowly build up to it. Practice makes perfect.

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