Following our last article Digital Detox Part 1: the reasons why ?, in which we shared about the reasons to start a digital detox we decided to publish a second article to include 5 concrete tips that you can use to start to take good habits when it comes to digital detox.
If you still wonder why this digital detox may be beneficial, just keep in mind that several reports starts to talk about “digital dependency” and that the last Ofcom research show that “Seventy-two per cent of adults say their smartphone is their most important device for accessing the internet, 71% say they never turn off their phone, and 78% say they could not live without it”.
In the end, when looking at the Ofcom report, it looks like the question is more to take good habits when using our devices and that is why in this article we will share 5 tips that allow you to do a smart digital detox, staying connected but not overwhelmed.
1- Turn off the unnecessary notifications
The first point that seems important when starting a digital detox is to rethink the volume of notifications you receive. An interesting article published on Popular Science gives a couple of tips on this topic and what I would recommend is for you to get back to your notifications settings on your device and to identify the one that are really important and the one that are optional. You can also turn off some specific notifications for week-ends for example.
2- Clean the number of newsletters / research updates you receive in your mailbox
Receiving newsletter is a great way to stay up to speed with the latest news of your favorite websites. But if you look at the number of newsletter you receive, you may discover that some are not relevant anymore. Instead of being overwhelmed by this flow of news, just unsubscribe and keep only the relevant ones. This will help you to get only the updates you want and this is also helpful for the website owners to get a curated list of recipients.
3- Give yourself a break from emails & messages
Unless if you are in an emergency situation or a job that require you to be totally “on call” to manage emergencies, you probably know deeply that your life do not depend on the fact that you can always answer immediately when you receive an email or a message. An interesting fact is that email is an asynchronous communication method, while most people want to answer as fast as possible, creating a permanent stress due to this communication paradox.
There are different methods to organize the way you manage your emails and how you manage your answers. A good one is to give yourself some specific times during which you will answer and some times during which you will be offline.
Try it…you will see you will probably feel more relaxed. Even if yes, at some time you will need to get up to speed with your emails.
4- Get clear on your priorities
Digital dependency is also linked to the fact that information is now available without any restriction, anytime, anywhere. It means that it is up to you to decide what you want to do with these information which leads to identify your priorities in order to make a better use of your time.
Think about the topics that are the most important for you ? Make a list of the 5 topics in which you want to invest your time and effort. And then compare it with what you actually do, you may be surprised to see the volume of your time that is absorbed by topics that are in fact…not in your priorities.
5- Talk about your digital detox
It is very interesting to see that digital dependency is linked to what is called the “FOMO” which stand for the “Fear Of Missing Out” and that is basically the fear to miss an information.
But you are not alone, you can share with your friends, your family, your colleagues about your decision to better manage your digital life. You have all the right to say that you will not be online for a few hours, or to update your status as “not available”. This will also show your ability to manage your time, to give to every situation its own place in your life.
I am convinced that the more we progress in the adoption of digital technologies, the more we will need to learn how to better use them in a balanced way, especially with the emergence of new IOT related products that will make connectivity a way of life. The good news here is that we can all decide of our behavior in this new over-connected environment. This is very clear when we see that more and more companies promote the right to disconnect. And the more we will talk about it, the more each individual will decide to take the driver seat in managing his digital life and the more we will make a better use of these digital technologies.