This is a guest post by one of the UK’s leading experts in digital distraction and digital detox, Frances Booth, author of The Distraction Trap: How to Focus in a Digital World, A Writer For All Seasons, and more productivity tips. Find out more about her here.
Here are 30 reasons to do a digital detox; ideas to make you think, to challenge you, and to give you motivation if and when you do decide to switch off. If you’re curious about the benefits a digital detox can bring you at work and for work-life balance, these tips are for you.
If you are sick of pinging demands, an overflowing inbox, and feeling overloaded, a digital detox can be a great strategy to use to achieve balance in the digital world. It might just give you the productivity boost you need.
My related piece on How To Do A Digital Detox gives more advice on practicalities such as how long your digital detox should be and how to prepare for switching off.
Image credit Alejandro Pinto via Flickr
These are some reasons why a digital detox makes sense.
1. We all need to take a step back from technology now and again.
2. You’ll carve out space to think deeply, connect to yourself, and connect to the people around you.
3. To break the reward cycles that we fuel with our incessant checking of smartphones, social media and email.
4. To know that you can switch off when you want, and that you have a healthy balance when it comes to tech use.
5. To read. To walk. To sing. To dance. To do whatever it is that you want time for.
6. To have some time for yourself.
7. To remember how to be human.
8. To know that you’re not going to be interrupted by a beeping, pinging, buzzing phone just for once. To see what that does to how you think, what you spend your time doing, and how you relax.
9. To sleep.
10. To break the pattern of being ‘always available’ or ‘on call’ with people expecting an instant answer.
11. To break the pattern of holding your smartphone in your hand at all times, hearing it ring or beep when it isn’t (phantom ringing), and not being able to leave the house without it.
12. To stay productive.
13. To slow things down.
14. To breathe.
15. Once you switch off, time seems plentiful (compared to the version we tend to race against most days).
16. To shift your perspective about how you use technology.
17. To question and notice the ways you’ve become dependent on, reliant on or addicted to certain digital platforms or media. (It’s easier to observe your behaviour when you take a step back.)
18. Because everyone’s at it. Search #digitaldetox before you start if you need some inspiration or moral support. Read stories of high-profile figures like Arianna Huffington or Tiffany Shlain for inspiration.
19. Because it’s a challenge.
20. To have dinner without a smartphone at the table.
21. To have in-depth conversations that meander and make you think and bring up questions that aren’t answered by the Internet.
22. To form memories (rather than being so distracted that you forget things). To have experiences for the sake of the experience, not for the sake of posting on social media.
23. To give your brain a break from digital processing. Information overload is a serious issue. Recharging is healthy.
24. So that rather than getting increasingly worn down by digital platforms you can return to them with energy and fresh ideas.
25. To help you handle the speed of the digital world.
26. Because good ideas tend to appear while you’re switched off.
27. To see things clearly, make better decisions, and find a more productive way to do things when you return. For example, you’ll assess a pile of emails more quickly and delete unnecessary messages, instead of reading them all.
28. To feel free.
29. To reclaim your time.
30. To find a balance that works for you.