How to Live a More Productive Life With a Digital Detox

Two weeks ago, I embarked on something I never thought I would ever need. I participated in a self-imposed digital detox.

What is a digital detox, you ask? Studies show that Americans spend more than 11 hours consuming some kind of digital media. Digital media is anything that comes from a device such as a laptop, smartphone, or TV etc.

A digital detox is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the act of untethering oneself from the aforementioned devices and instead engaging in real life, non-digital activities.

Why a Digital Detox?

During the week of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, my smartphone and I were almost inseparable. I woke up numerous times in the middle of the night to check Twitter for election news.

Well, we all know how that turned out. And in the days following, my media consumption grew worse and worse. It got to a point where I would waste so much time just reading tweets, news headlines, and Facebook status updates. Not only that, the more I read, the angrier and frustrated I became. It got to a point where Craig and I could do nothing but have angry conversations about what we read online.

And then Friday arrived. I would have a break from work, a break from sitting at a computer all day and being tempted to just glance at headlines. It was then that I decided to do a self-imposed digital detox.

The Rules for My Digital Detox

There were several things I observed about my life which led me to acknowledge my need for a break from media consumption. Some of these might sound familiar to you:

  • Basic household tasks were being neglected such as laundry piling up, floors needing to be cleaned, and furniture dusted.
  • Personal endeavors weren’t progressing as fast as I had hoped. Some weren’t progressing at all.
  • My “someday” list was getting longer and longer.

So just by evaluating what was weighing me down, I managed to also come up with an action plan for what needed to be accomplished during the weekend. The guidelines for my detox were as follows:

  1. The detox begins at 12:00 AM midnight Saturday and ends at 11:59 PM Sunday.
  2. All social media will be avoided. Facebook and Instagram were my worst culprits.

Since this was my first weekend, I kept the rules simple. And if I ever wanted to take a break from any of the other things I was doing, I would read a book. It was that simple.

The Outcome

By Sunday evening, I had washed, folded, and put away all the laundry that was pouring out of the clothes hamper. The floors were free of dead leaves, grass, and smudged paw prints. The kitchen countertops were cleared and wiped down. I also filmed a YouTube video and wrote a blog post to go along with it. There were other things I wish I was able to get to, but as it stood I had already accomplished a lot for an entire weekend.

In fact, I’ve scheduled a recurring digital detox on my calendar every 3 weeks. This means that I would at least have one weekend a month of digital freedom.

Hopefully now with regular breaks, I’ll make more progress on the things that matter in life.


One thought on “How to Live a More Productive Life With a Digital Detox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.