Often times we’re so plugged into what’s going on with our Smartphone, tablet, laptop (or all of the above) that we miss out on what’s going on in our actual lives. Make 2015 a year where you don’t care how many likes your Instagram posts receive, how many people retweeted your dinner last night, or just the general noise and constant bombardment that the Internet endlessly supplies. Here is your guide to unplugging in 2015:
Why You Should Unplug
You might be asking yourself, do I really need to unplug this year? Or better yet, do I really want to? We’re here to tell you yes! Give your mind a break. Do you really need to see Becky’s brunch photos? Do you really need to know the top 5 cats doing crazy things underwater (or something equally as ridiculous)? No, you don’t. Your mind is being swamped with continual, useless information. Unplugging from this seemingly endless stream of nonsense will enable your mind to be quiet. It’s important to be alone with your thoughts and in turn, get to know yourself better. Whether you realize it or not, your phone can be an unwelcome third wheel when spending time with friends, family and other loved ones. By putting the Internet away in all forms, you can encourage stronger and overall more fulfilling relationships. Lastly, setting a ‘tech-curfew’ will enable you to get a better and more satisfying sleep. Staring at bright screens tricks your brain into thinking that it’s not actually night time, and will keep you up later, producing a cranky version of yourself come the morning!
How To Unplug
So now you’re thinking, “Being available and easy to reach is an integral part of my livelihood, I can’t just shut off technology.” The answer to this is prioritizing, and here’s how to do it:
- Email: It’s all about organizing. All of the spammy, fluffy restaurant deals, clothing sales and whatnot – shuffle them into your spam folder or create a separate folder that is not feeding into your main inbox. If you’re going on vacation, take a vacation from e-mails as well. It’s fairly simple to add an automatic vacation / out-of-office response. Add the date you will be coming back and someone else that they can reach should their matter be time sensitive. This way you can have a streamlined inbox of what matters and also actually enjoy your vacation!
- Phone: Simplicity is key. How often are you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites when you’re on your tablet, laptop or desktop? Probably a lot. Do you really need all of these apps on your phone as well? If you find yourself constantly using an app that’s really not providing any use, just delete it! If you’re going to be checking it on your laptop later in the day or after work or school, wait until then! Also, did you know that most smartphones have a ‘do not disturb’ option? This handy little feature will silence all incoming calls and alerts while the feature is turned on!
Now that you’ve been enlightened with all of this useful information, it’s time to set some ground-rules. Here are some tips we encourage to ensure you’re just the right amount unplugged to start living in the real world again:
- No phones in bed! Leave it to charge somewhere other than the bedroom
- Set a firm tech curfew – (no cheating!)
- Focus on who is in front of you – set simple rules when with family or friends such as ‘no phones at the table’
- Take a break – if you’re going for a walk, to the gym, or to meet a friend for coffee, leave your phone!
- Out of sight, out of mind. Put your phone or tablet in a drawer, cupboard or some other place out of eyesight.
It’s so important to connect with the world around us, and not just through a screen. When we are able to successfully disconnect, we are able to better appreciate the people in our lives, the world around us, and in turn feel a more genuine sense of content and calm. What’s your excuse for not disconnecting in 2015?