7*7*7 tips to unplug your holiday
Holiday season means you will have more hours to check what your friends are doing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, view fancy decorations on Pinterest and clips on YouTube? No! Seriously. It’s time to unplug your holiday!
Did you know that the average smartphone user checks their phone up to 150 times a day, or even six times an hour? All that beeping and buzzing and frantic swiping sounds rather like an addiction…oh sorry, we are all still in denial of course… The outdoor fresh air is awaiting your office-paled skin, so we want to inspire you to unplug from technology this season.
So why not try out our three levels of unplugging: Unplug Lite, Unplug Cruise and Unplug Wild. With 7 tips in each category, it’s almost like a slot machine with a winning combination, no matter what you choose!
- Put your phone out of arm’s reach and out of sight whenever you are doing other tasks, or when you’re spending time with family and friends.
- Turn your phone to grayscale (if your phone has this option) – the lack of colours shouting for your attention will make it easier to detach yourself.
- Switch off all notification sounds except calls. Uninstall all social media apps on your phone and only access those platforms on your laptop during one set time a day.
- Check emails only once a day.
- If you have to be online to work a bit, close tabs and programmes that you don’t need. Go full screen, use a blocking programme or use a different web browser without your usual bookmarks to distract you.
- Start your morning routine without grabbing your phone. Read a real book or go for a walk instead and get some other tasks done.
- Book bed time for technology, like no screens after supper.
Add these tips to the list in Unplug Lite:
- Decide as a family when it will be okay or not to use phones, tablets and laptops. Keep each other accountable and come up with plans for other activities to do together.
- Set one time slot per day (an hour or so) to do what you need or want to do online. When you work, focus on working only. When you rest, focus on resting. Be intentional in what you are doing instead of multi-tasking many activities that have no singular goal.
- Take a five-minute screen break every half an hour or determine your own schedule of screen breaks to move around more often.
- Keep a distraction list to jot notes down on when you need to focus. This will give your mind a break and the reassurance that you can deal with that little list later on.
- Go for walks without taking your phone or music player with you.
- Let calls go to voicemail and check in later.
- Set timers to get small tasks done if you struggle with procrastinating or wasting time on technology.
Use any or all of these options for a radically life-changing, brain-decluttering break:
- Pack all gadgets and phones away and only use them one hour a day. Tell your family and friends at what times they can call you and plan your Skype calls with them. Go for long walks and picnics without these gadgets!
- Build specific habits around the things that really matter in your life. They will keep you steady when you have to return to the world of information after your holiday.
- Read real books instead of reading on your Kindle device or app.
- Take breaks to locations without internet connection or even any mobile signal.
- Try out new recipes in the kitchen and let your family experiment with healthier meals.
- Focus on constructive activities that require your full physical attention, such as outdoor games, doing crafts, gardening, painting and drawing, cycling, exercising and so on.
- Sit in nature and reflect, write, observe and do nothing. Yes, NOTHING! Breathe.
Most distractions CAN wait. You can be reached in an emergency, but most of the communication coming your way is NOT deathly urgent!
Distractions make you less productive, less fulfilled and less connected to whatever it is you are actually supposed to be doing.
Make a note of how these changes affect your ability to focus, relax and enjoy your relationships, then check in with us after the holidays to tell us all about it!