If you’ve been in a very crowded room and yet felt handicapped because your palm wasn’t clutching a mobile phone or an ipad and your ears didn’t have a set of earphones in them, this story’s for you! Thanks to today’s uber connectivity, we’ve all become super dependent on our digital gadgets—phones, tablets, MP3 players and so on. But every once in a while, when it all gets too much, it’s a very good idea to step back and take a break. Here are 6 ways in which you could try (and succeed at) a digital detox…

ways to try digital detox

  • Set small goals

    You’ve got to be realistic and start small. Going from checking your phone every twenty minutes to switching off completely will be close to impossible—cold turkey always is—which is why set a shorter timespan to go offline. Start with a few hours, then a day, then the weekend. Over time, it’ll become a habit.
  • Get yourself a real alarm clock

    Nine out of ten people take their phones to bed because they use them as alarm clocks. Do this every day and before you know it, you’ve been hunching over your phone for twenty minutes, have finished scrolling through all your social media feeds, are in the middle of a cat video on Youtube and have absolutely forgotten about why you picked up the phone in the first place! So go old school, buy yourself an alarm clock and perhaps even a quarter of an hour (at least) of snooze time.

try digital detox

  • Try a deadline

    A good way to test the waters when it comes to digital detox territory is to give yourself an everyday deadline to put away your gadgets—post work or dinner or 9 pm—whichever is most suitable for you. Replace your idle net surfing time with a movie, a good book, a late night drive or board games with your buddies.
  • Disable all notifications

    Our phone is a big distraction owing to the constant Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat notifications we keep getting. Did you know that the little red circle updates work as rewards on a subconscious level prompting us to look forward to them once we’ve uploaded a photo, made a comment or updated our status? Turning off your notifications will not only ensure that you focus on things outside of your phone but also play a big part in breaking this habit of digital gratification.

digital detox

  • Leave your phone at home

    Another very effective way to force yourself into going digital-free is by leaving your phone at home when you head out—the most convenient times are when you go for a run or to the gym (trust us, no one needs to see your gym selfies), when you head out for dinner with your family or when you go to the market to buy groceries. Open yourself to the sights and sounds around you, listen in on conversations, and let your thoughts and ears wander—you’ll begin to realise how much you don’t need to be plugged in all the time.
  • Find a detox buddy

    Like most challenging things, this one can be made easier when done with a buddy. Get a friend to try the digital detox with you and follow the same plan as yours. Check in on each other in a while to monitor progress and encourage each other.