If you have a job or a family or social life, you’re probably not going to be tossing your phone or your laptop any time soon. That being said, the less time you spend checking your email, sending text messages and scrolling through social media, the better, so here are some realistic ways to do a digital detox without going off the grid.
1. Unsubscribe from all those emails and newsletters
If you only do one thing on this list, this should be it. Unsubscribe from the website that sends you shoe deals every single day. Unsubscribe from the baking blog that has a new cupcake recipe each week. You don’t need to be on the mailing list for that yoga studio you don’t even go to anymore or that random airline you flew with that one time. Not finding 86 emails in your inbox when you wake up every morning is a much better way to start your day.
2. Purge your friends lists on social media
You know that roommate from college that posts at least four photos of her niece on Facebook each day? That guy that does nothing but rant about football on Twitter? Un-friending and unfollowing those people on social media means less of what you don’t want and more of what you do want, which means less time scrolling. And if you can’t unfriend or unfollow (because you’re related or you work together or something) just hide notifications from them on your newsfeed and all of a sudden your world will be a more peaceful place.
3. Clean out your email and phone contact list
That guy you met at the bar that turned out to be a lot less attractive in the cold, harsh light of day? That girl you used to work with that you haven’t said a word to since the day you quit? Yeah you don’t need those people in your contacts anymore and it will honestly feel so good to delete them. And if they do happen to hit you up one day? New phone who dis? is all you need.
4. Disconnect your work email from your phone
Checking your work email at night will put you on the fast track to serious stress and burnout. One of the best ways to keep away from your inbox? Disconnect your work email from your phone so you won’t be tempted to check every time your phone dings. And if you honestly do need to check your work email after hours, commit to only checking it once a night and only let yourself read and respond to emails for a certain amount of time and that’s it.
5. Set your phone on silent and put it away
Sure, it sounds easy enough to just turn your phone off but smartphone separation anxiety is no joke. Instead, set your phone on silent, turn off the vibrate and put it somewhere that you won’t see the screen light up. You can even use the “do not disturb” feature. Knowing that your phone is on will actually help you forget about it while you focus on other things.