1. Leave your phone at the bedroom door
A 2014 study found that the average smartphone user reaches for their phone by 7.31am to check emails and social media. At Shine Offline we’ve invested in alarm clocks to remove the smartphone from the bedroom and found that leaving our phones off while we get up, dressed and eat breakfast makes for a better start to the day.
2. Out of sight, out of mind
If your smartphone is always within arm’s reach, the temptation is to check it every few minutes. Make sure there are times you turn it off, put it in a drawer, your work bag or even a sock! Make some rules about your phone free time – a proper break for lunch, to focus on an important deadline, kid’s bedtime.
3. Turn off notifications and use ‘flight mode’
If the apps on your phone are set to alert you to emails, social media and every time there is a bid on your old sofa on eBay then you will be distracted by it all day. Turn the default notifications off or even remove certain apps from your phone altogether. Make use of ‘flight mode’ and stop texts and calls coming through.
4. Good old fashioned pen and paper
Any questions on any topic can now be answered through the power of Google. Amazing. But the distraction of constantly going online can get in the way of a productive day. The solution is simple. Carry a small notepad and pen and every time something pops up that requires you to go online resist the temptation of doing it there and then. Start a list and a few times a day go online to action it.
5. Have designated online time
Rather than leaving your inbox and half a dozen browsers open on your computer all day, create certain time frames to be online. That includes deciding a certain number of times a day to check your email as well as designated admin time. Write yourself a task list for the next day, and at the start of the working day tackle your most important tasks before you open your inbox. It takes discipline but you’ll be surprised how productively your day can start and how clearer your mind can be. Be brave and experiment – you’ll soon find what works best for you.
6. Be mindful and reclaim the pause in your day
When we are constantly distracted by technology we are never fully present in the moment. At Shine Offline meditation offers a solution giving a break from constant bombardment of information and some space back to focus on and what is important. Resist the temptation to automatically reach for your phone every time you are sat on a bus, in your lunch break or waiting for an appointment. Try and be mindful and break that habit. Instead of looking at your phone on your commute, read a book, look out of the window or just close your eyes and breathe.
Shine Offline is a wellbeing company that helps people to manage their digital distractions. Our programme of digital technology management workshops empowers people to recognise the impact our constantly connected world is having on them and provides them with tips and tools to reclaim space in their schedule, bringing balance and control back into their lives.