Anytime I feel a little bit bored or confronted with the idea of performing a not so pleasant task, I push it off and reach for my phone.
I reach for something easy and relatively mind numbing like scrolling through Instagram. I check my likes, respond to comments, and DMs which is so much more fun than cleaning the house or researching my latest blog post topic.
In fact, I even did it right before writing this blog post. It's just so easy, and we all do it.
Digital addiction is a growing problem. I remember the days before I became a blogger.
I would leave my phone at home all of the time. I would check it in the morning and the evening. I had no social media.
My phone was used only for the GPS, taking photos (for personal use), texting and phone calls. I also had an app with a keyboard on it so I could practice my audition pieces anywhere.
All of this changed when I started doing social media professionally. Now, my phone is with me and on constantly!
When I feel the slightest bit of boredom, I reach for my phone and start working. It's easy, portable, and so much more fun than staring out the window on the bus.
Unfortunately, staring at a phone and receiving information makes it more difficult to think creatively. In fact, one of the secrets of creativity is being bored!
It's allowing ourselves to day dream and give ourselves time to think and process large problems.
We can't process information in this way when we're constantly absorbing other information.
Sometimes the secret, is putting away all digital distractions and spending sometime with your mind.
In order for me to operate and be successful in a creative field, I HAVE to have time free of digital distractions.
Even if you're not in a creative field, time away from screens can greatly improve your focus and relationships.
Here are my top tips for digital detox.
1. Pick a Date:
I recommend picking out a weekend when your schedule will be relatively slow.
Of course, you could also take a weekend getaway somewhere. Go camping, into the woods, or some place with no reception and just zone out.
However, picking up and going somewhere isn't always practical, and it's totally not necessary.
2. Let Others Know:
There's a great function on your phone called Do Not Disturb. You can turn that on so emergency calls can still get through.
Make sure to let your friends and family know, you're going "off-grid" so to speak, but you'll be available in case there's an emergency.
Now, you have no reason to check your phone! Everyone knows you're one a digital vacay.
3. Hide your phone:
Putting your phone in a far away location allows you to focus on what's in front of you instead of reaching for it. If your phone is charging in a closet somewhere and you're reading the living room, you're probably going to be less inclined to check it.
Make sure your notifications are off, the phone is on do not disturb, and if you're really having issues - delete your apps!
4. Delete your apps:
If you find yourself constantly getting sucked into Facebook or Instagram, delete them off of your phone! You have to use a desktop to check in so you can be more conscious of the time you lose throughout the day.
It's amazing what happens when you spend 20 minutes here and there scrolling... when you add all of that time up, you've lost HOURS!!
5. Pick a Project:
Pick a project that you'd like to get accomplished. Maybe it's a book you want to read. A garden you want to get planted. A craft project you want to build!
Just pick something that you want to get done, so if you're thinking, man I'm bored - you can work on what you set out to do.