Technology is a wonderful thing—it allows us to work more efficiently, helps us stay in touch with friends and family, and entertains us. But it also has the capacity to do exactly the opposite—distract us from our work, distance us from our loved ones and prevent us from practicing truly enriching hobbies. Research has also shown that tech addiction can lead to anxiety and depression. If you’re looking to take a “tech break” from your smartphone, here are five tips to try:
Write Down Other Ways to Relax
If you’re flirting with an addiction to your phone, during free or stressful times in your day, you’re probably reaching for it. If you have a list of other ways to relax (taking a walk, calling a friend, reading a book, playing with a pet) you can avoid automatically mindlessly searching the web or surfing Instagram.
Sleep with Your Phone in Another Room
The bedroom is one of the worst places to keep your phone. Sleeping with your phone next to you will tempt you to look at it while you’re going to sleep—and studies have shown that the light from your phone can interfere with sleep.
Plan a Small, Specific Break
If you say “I’m going to have a phone-free weekend,” you may be biting off more than you can chew in terms of changing habits. But if you say “I’m going to leave my phone in the car until the kids’ bedtime,” that might be something you can do successfully and build upon.
Set Clear Expectations
Let your boss and coworkers know when you’ll be on and offline and you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
Use Tech to Reduce Tech
There are great apps that can easily help you track how much time you’re spending online. Set a limit—for instance, 1 hour—for the day and try to limit your time accordingly.
Try these tips and enjoy the benefits, from lower stress to deeper real life relationships!