It’s January and it seems that everyone is doing a declutter challenge… me included! So today, I wanted to take it a step further and do a quick digital detox. If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about your digital clutter, read on for 5 quick and easy ways to do a digital detox TODAY!
First & Last 30 minutes of the Day: No Screens!
So this is new for me…I am trying to wake up and NOT TOUCH MY PHONE for the first 30 minutes of the morning. I realized that my morning “coffee time” was dragging on longer and longer over the holiday break. I was spending an hour (or more!) on my phone in the morning. Now, I am consciously trying to wake up, write down my gratitudes and goals, and get to the business of working out. It’s only day 7… but it really has made a difference. I love that I have the time to write down my goals and reflect. I was already turning my phone off 30 minutes before bedtime, but if you’re not, try creating a “downtime” for your phone. It helps sleep and gets your mind off of social media or “to-dos” right before you go to bed.
Turn Off Your Notifications
I am purposely trying to go through and delete all my non-urgent notifications. I hate when I am talking to someone and they keep looking down at their apple watch or phone, but I AM GUILTY OF THIS AS WELL. Pot calling the kettle black for sure! So I am trying to turn off all the buzzes, dings, messages, and anything that pulls my focus from what I am doing at the current moment. My goal is to be present in conversations and not constantly pulled back to this tiny digital box at all times of the day. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. This article by David Neil talks about how notifications might be ruining our lives! 😰
Unsubscribe to 3 emails a day
I don’t think I’m alone here, but I am drowning in emails! All the holiday shopping means that I am now on every company’s distro list. I am challenging myself this week to unsubscribe instead of deleting. This will help to reduce the inflow in the long run so I don’t feel so overwhelmed. This also makes sure that the important emails don’t get lost in the mix. If you’d like to read more about decluttering and organizing your emails, click here.
Delete your Unused Apps
I have an idea. For one week, every time you use an app move it to a new screen. At the end of the week you will see which apps you actually use and you can delete the rest. Remember, if you’ve already downloaded the app it’s extremely easy to download it again. So if it’s something you only use every once in a while try deleting it or at least moving it off your main screen. For more tips on decluttering your apps, read here.
Leave your Phone in a Different Room
New rule in the Arevalo house: NO PHONES IN THE BATHROOM. This is a lot harder than you think it would be. I know I take my phone in there to listen to podcasts, but when I really think about it…that’s gross. Phones do not belong in the bathroom. Besides the bathroom, we are also trying to be more intentional with our presence at any given time. So if we are watching TV, we’re watching TV. If we’re having dinner, the phones are not at the table. Phones can stay upstairs or in another room all together. It’s hard, but I think it helps us to stop scrolling and be present in the moment. In addition, we’ve realized that the kids are following our example and we can definitely do better!
Do these quick and easy tips for a digital detox sound doable to you? Which one do you think will give you the biggest challenge? Let me know how these go for you or if you have some other ideas of how you are going to do a digital detox. If you would like to read more about digital decluttering, you can read my article 7 Day Digital Declutter Challenge and make sure to grab the checklist below!
Jana, these are fabulous and easy to do tips. My favorites are to move infrequently used apps to another screen and to unsubscribe from 3 emails a day. I will absolutely try this and let you know.
Also, these are great graphics!
Thank you so much! Yes, you’ll have to let me know how those go… I’m going to try to make a screen of used apps as well and see if that creates a more efficient use time when trying to find the app I need. Also, one can never unsubscribe to enough emails. 😅
I started deleting apps off my phone starting this year. It is making it so much easier to find the apps that I actually use. Great challenge!
Yes! I get so frustrated when I open up my phone and can’t find what I’m looking for. I love the new Apple update that has put the “search” feature right front and center on the home screen. I think a lot of people have the same problem of TOO MANY APPS! 📲
These are excellent suggestions, Jana. A few of them I am unable to do, but even if you engage in some of these, I know it will make a big difference.
One of the things I each morning is meditate. I use an app on my phone to do that, so I DO touch my phone in the first 30 minutes of the day. I’m OK with that.
Other than at night when I park my phone at my desk, I typically have my phone with me at all times because it tracks my steps. This is a newish development in the last year plus, which is related to my change in exercise and eating habits.
My husband uses a meditations app too, and I think that’s fine. For me, I know I’ll be too tempted to get on there and start scrolling. I use my watch to track all my fitness, but I don’t sleep with it on so it’s not the first thing I look at. I love all my technology and all the things that it can do, but I also realize that I am getting to a place where I need to set boundaries to make sure it’s not too much of a good thing!
I do leave my phone downstairs when I go to bed at night. It is a nice “break” for me because I’m not tempted to check it. I will say that I am old and still have a landline next to my bed in case of emergencies.
Isn’t it funny how we take our phones to the bathroom? Breaking that habit seems like a good goal for the new year.
Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, I had never really stopped to THINK about taking a phone into the bathroom… even public restrooms now. And then you put it up to your face or continue to touch it all day. I don’t consider myself a germaphobe, but this thought made me go, “ick!” 🤣.
And yes, I would love to leave my phone downstairs, but as my oldest is starting to drive and as my father is getting older, I just like having the phone right there. We don’t have a landline so that’s the only option right now. I have my “sleep” focus on and only certain notifications are allowed through, so that helps A LOT.
Great tips that I know we can ALL benefit from. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much! Yes, I think it is just a reality that we all have a whole digital life to contend with these days. It’s new territory for us all to have boundaries and systems set up to make sure that we are not overwhelmed by our digital experiences.
I love these graphics and this is great advice. I actually don’t use my phone that much unless I am out of the house — in waiting rooms, in line — I’ve never mastered the skill of typing on those teeny buttons and iOS 16 has introduced so many typos and weirdness into dictation that it can be a headache. So, I already have relatively few unused apps and have most notifications turned off.
BUT, I spend most of my life sitting in front of my Mac, which is basically a big iPhone in a lot of ways. I only read email at my computer to ensure that my attention is either 100% engaged or 100% disengaged with email, but I’m not getting very far in working my way through unsubscribing from emails. Thanks for the important prompts!