I love the so called digitalization. I believe that the internet and everything that comes with it has made life so much easier and faster. Never in history before you were that flexible in your daily tasks, that well informed and knowledgable on whatever topic you wanted to learn about. You can google what to do in an emergency situation and order a cake to surprise your Mum on mothers day if you can not be around.
However there are more and more cry-outs for a digital downtime, tips and tricks on how to handle all that digital noise pop up everywhere and a burnout seems to be the logical side effect of more and more devices and platforms to follow up on.
I totally understand the feeling of being overwhelmed, it seems like there is a new website and service to check out every day and the number of decisions we need to take to order a simple T-shirt is just enormous. You get to compare material and price, read reviews and need to consider shipping time and costs, evaluate, save, reevaluate the next day and buy in store in the end.
So Digital downtime sounds like a great idea to me, to reserve a bit of time to not stare at your phone, TV or computer is definitely something to aim for but this is just so much harder done than said. During the day you need your E-mails, communicate with friends, the evening is often the only time during the day when it is a bit calmer to click around on blogs and read some news.
However I think there are certain things you can do on a daily basis to reduce a bit of digital noise.
- Reduce Multitasking – I tend to click on my phone while having the TV running and having another E-mail open on my computer on my lap. Well obviously that can be stressful. Try spotting those moments of device overload and reduce them. Enjoy the movie you are watching, don’t answer messages when researching something online etc.
- Phone free areas – I tend to carry my phone around the house to the dinner table, to the sofa, in the bathroom and to the bed. Start putting the phone away more often for smaller tasks. No phone on the kitchen table, you really don’t need your phone in the bathroom, seriously you can spend 10 minutes just by yourself… and a lot of people use the phones alarm clock but what about going a bit old school and plug your alarm back in and leave the phone outside the bedroom?
- Go back to paper lists – I love apps and online lists. Whenever I am standing in line at the postoffice I can add some items I need to get the next morning on my way to work, perfect. However for tasks like structuring the day for example I noticed that going back to paper lists, post its and phyiscal boards tends to be a good approach.
- News to follow up on – I love all kinds of social networks, I am signed up for everything, facebook, instagram, twitter, smaller networks like solebich and atmine and so on. I am also an active user but I turned of all notifications. If possible I am setting weekly newsletters and otherwise I am relying on checking in whenever I am in the mood and I have time. I do the same for newsletter, I sign up for everything I am interested in and redirect all newsletter in one specific folder which I scan every once in a while.
- Time displays – Don’t have them stress you out – Yes people know when you have been online as soon as you turn on. Facebook messenger, whatsapp and all kinds of other apps make it impossible to just read a message and respond when you have the time for it. Don’t have that stress you and don’t stress others about it either. Just because that funny little clock shows that he has been online 3 times since your last message does not mean he does not like you anymore. He might have read it at the red traffic light or forgot about it after a meeting. Just ping again or give them a call.
So what do you think? Worth giving it a try and maybe after a bit of time we find some time for some oldschool things like reading a book? I will try some things for my next DIY now and leave my phone here. See you soon!