We were at backyard party this weekend and a group of friends began talking about how they ‘unplug’. As the conversation unfolded, each person shared activities that he or she considered refreshing – some said a hike or a swim, hobbies and cooking came up, but it became clear that unplugging itself is getting harder and harder. I even heard myself say that I had to take a vacation to unplug. Whatttttt??????
If your weekend was anything like mine, you did unplug….a little. You turned off the alarm and walked away from the computer for a few hours in the afternoon. But now that Monday’s here you started the day scrolling through Instagram as you lay in bed. Just like that, we’re at it again – there’s a phone ever present and we can’t seem to take a break. And it feels normal because statistics show that we check our phones an average of 150 times a day.
If you’re feeling that tension, too, here are 4 practical things I do to unplug during the week.
1. TALK MORE, TECH LESS
Talk More. Tech Less. is a 30 day experience that is designed to strengthen relationships and lead to greater connection. I found out about this idea and absolutely loved it because it truly gets the tech detox jump started. The Experience includes a custom made “Detox Box” created to put devices in at strategic times during the day. Thirty daily notecards are included, too, to help you begin a true journey to healthy technology usage. The 30 days can be done individually, but the program is designed to be walked through with those closest to you; your partner, co-workers or friends. As I have spent the past month examining my tech habits and engaging more with people, I honestly experienced personal, spiritual and relational growth.
2. DRIVE WITH YOUR PURSE IN THE BACK SEAT
It is much more difficult for me to reach for my phone at a stoplight when my purse is in the backseat! Even though I’m a big believer in not texting and driving, it’s so tempting when it’s within arm’s reach. So starting last week, I placed it out of arm’s reach when I’m driving and felt much more present and aware.
3. CHARGE YOUR PHONE IN THE KITCHEN AT NIGHT
The easiest way to truly enjoy the morning (and keep you from hitting the snooze button!) is by plugging your phone in at night in the kitchen. After getting out of bed and making that short walk to my phone’s alarm, I rarely stand there in my undies and check email. I’m way more likely to fill up our kettle and get the coffee started.
4. DON’T CHECK EMAIL ON YOUR PHONE
This was the game changer. After finding out about Talk More. Tech Less. I started examining my own habits around technology and the biggest distraction was always email. I mean, I would pick up my phone and check email at least twice in a car ride! What’s wild is that unless I’m on set, it doesn’t even make sense to check my email on a phone. I get a headache staring at the small screen and am often around a computer all day.