Odds & Ends

SPY Guide: 7 Ways to Digital Detox

digital detox
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* Stay more productive and balanced
* Welcome back social interactions and activities
* Refresh and de-stress

We are so inundated with technology these days that we might sometimes forget there is an entire world out there ready to be explored. Articles are everywhere these days telling you how to do a “Digital Detox” and refrain from using your electronic devices for a set period of time. There are camps, luxe vacations and even special retreats dedicated to getting us off our phones.

That being said, it is not all that realistic or easy to fully cut-out technology, but we have researched and come up with a few ways to help cut back on your device usage and still reap the benefits from using them a little less.

1. Read a Physical Book

New York Times Bestseller Image courtesy Shutterstock

Ahh, a concept so simple yet I feel we have neglected this art form to a point where the hardback or paperback novel will become obsolete. Still, reading a book not only forces you to concentrate (hopefully on an inspiring read), the matte paper also helps soothe your eyes from staring at a sharp screen all day. If you need help finding a good book to read, we’ve got five picks for classic reads that should be on everyone’s list.

  

 2. Pick Up a Pen and Paper

start where you are Image courtesy Amazon

Another simple concept is to write things out by hand. We are so quick to pull out our phones and make that all encompassing to-do list that this could actually be a fun challenge. Buy yourself a pretty pen and notebook (we like Meera Lee Patel’s art-inspired journal, above) and try to write down your next reminder(s).

  

3. Limit Your App Time

instagram feed

No, you don’t have to stop scrolling Instagram or Pinterest altogether, but maybe set a timer the next time you do, so you can be more mindful of how much time you are actually spending on your apps. When the timer is done, simply put your phone down.

  

4. Give Yourself a Daily Allowance

smart alarm clock Image courtesy Amazon Image courtesy Amazon

Similar to the above “rules” for social media, establishing a maximum daily time allowance for all your devices will make it more likely that you stick to your detox. Our suggestion: do your Instagram browsing in the morning and at night, check Twitter during lunch and limit any emails on your phone to pressing issues. Think of all the free time you’ll have to you know, actually get some work or errands done.

  

5. Learn to Cook

Plated Food Service Image courtesy Plated

The easiest way to free up your hands is to keep them busy doing something else. This could be the best time to try a meal delivery service, and get fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes delivered to your door. A bonus: the recipe cards are printed out for you, meaning you won’t have to reach for your device to look up instructions.

  

 6. Get Outside to Do Some Shopping

Image courtesy Shutterstock

Remember malls? While online shopping has become everyone’s favorite pastime (mine included), why not try and physically go to one or a few of your favorite stores while leaving your phone in your car? It will get you up, out of the house, away from your computer screen and serve as a much-needed mind refresh. Try and run 1-2 errands sans smartphone and pay more attention to your surroundings. When was the last time you shopped with your hands-free (I.e. not holding a phone)? Freeing your hands will also free you up to get things done more efficiently (read: less distracting texts or apps to divert your attention).

  

7. Take a Vacation — But Leave the Phone at Home (or in Your Room)

hotels Thompson Playa del Carmen Image courtesy Mr and Mrs Smith

Whether you book a luxe getaway, a last minute trip or a casual road trip, remember that you’re traveling to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, not to bring it with you. Head to a beach or hey, even do it up in Vegas again, but ditch your phone and take in the sights and sounds instead. Hotels have in-room safes for a reason y’know. Also: the safes are perfectly sized to fit your phone, tablet and laptop. Just ‘sayin.

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