With the cacophony of social media getting louder by the tweet, it’s important to remember how important it is to occasionally unplug and back away. Here are 10 tips on cutting the cord with social media.
1. Start your day peacefully
Instead of rolling over and reaching for your phone, take some time for yourself. Spend some time meditating, get in some stretching or a full workout before answering a single email. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast or a nutrient-packed smoothie is good for you, so why not also nourish your mind?
2. Old school is the best school
Instead of constantly reaching for the next best smart phone on the market, go get an old Android phone. Nothing that gets email or has apps – just calls and texts. One immediate benefit – the battery will outlast any new phone on the market.
Limiting the world’s access to you can be a good thing – like seizing control of your life again.
3. Schedule your time
It’s easy to “lose” time surfing the internet – Facebook alone can chew up useable, productive hours. So try scheduling your time to avoid the web suck.
Run an accountability system or arrange meetings during the day to keep you offline. Packing your after-work schedule with activities that nourish your mind and body can help you stay away from the internet.
While it can be an efficient use of time to check emails and social media on the train, it can also jumble your thought process with too many images, clips and texts. Try carrying a book – or at least reading through the Kindle app on your phone, but turn the signal off. Or carry a notebook and start writing your own book.
5. There’s an app for that
It sounds counterintuitive, but there is technology that can help you disconnect from technology. There are apps that will help you detach by blocking other apps, such as Facebook or Tweetdeck. They can also block internet access for certain amounts of time, so you’ll have a dumb phone for a while.
6. Diets can be digital
You’re counting calories – why not count how often you check your emails, surf Facebook, get lost on Instagram, etc? Counting your technology time can help your peace of mind.
Take note of how many times a day you check your emails, surf the web, or browse social media, and then try reducing it by 10%, or cutting out one or more of those sessions a day. With your extra time, try adding in something that will take you away from your desk and phone.
7. Cold turkey
If the half-measures aren’t enough, unplug cold turkey. Put your phone in a drawer and leave it there for a day to start. Tell people that they can reach you through your work phone and email, and that’s it today.
If temptation still lingers, take a real mini-break to a location without connection — a health spa, perhaps, or a writer’s retreat?
8. Close some tabs
Having multiple browser tabs open can be an exercise in efficiency – for example, when you’ve got different Google docs open. But don’t open social media sites and keep them among your tabs. That’s a too-easy way to waste your time on social media.
9. Turn it off
When it’s time for you to go to bed, your tech should have been asleep for two hours. Studies have shown that the blue light from our screens can really mess up our sleeping patterns.
Experts recommend turning your tech off around two hours before your actual bedtime to give you enough time to wind down.
10. Organize how people reach you
You can streamline the places you need to check in when you’re online by requesting certain people only contact you through a particular medium. Your general business inquiries come by email, so ask an assistant to filter them before you see them. Turn off messaging on your Facebook page, have ‘do not disturb’ as the default on Skype with a message re-directing them to that general email address. Switch everything else off so you’re not constantly refreshing your apps on the lookout for messages that aren’t coming.