Why You Need a Digital Detox and How to Do One

Digital detox matrix tunnel
Digital detox matrix tunnel

Imagine an elephant standing on a can of soda. That’s how much pressure the digital world puts on your brain. And since you’re connected 24/7, the pressure never relents. Your brain will explode – much like the unfortunate soda can – if you don’t do anything about all that pressure.

That’s where the digital detox comes in. A digital detox is a simple commitment to turn-off all your communication and non-communication devices for a minimum of 24 hours. In doing so, you will make time to pursue hobbies, deepen relationships, meet new people, make new friends, hone your skills, and do anything else that you’ve pushed away due to lack of time.

The benefits of digital detox will blow your mind. At the same time, it will keep your mind from blowing up. And don’t worry, a digital detox will not hurt your professional or personal performance in any way. In fact, your performance in all aspects of your life will skyrocket. So, let’s look at how to do a digital detox for a day.

1: Schedule Your Detox

If you’re doing a digital detox for the first time, scheduling the detox wisely is the most important step. The best time to kick-start your digital detox is the when you leave your office on the last day of your workweek. For example, if you work from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, then begin your digital detox at 6 PM on Friday.

2: Plan Your Detox Day

On your detox day, you will have a lot of free time – it will feel like that anyway. Without digital distractions to keep you busy, all that free time can drive you mad. So, you should plan how you will use your time on your detox day. Plan a long drive, go on a picnic, visit an amusement park, call on some friends, or catch some sun and surf at the beach.

Whatever activity you plan for the detox day, arrange everything such that you can leave your digital devices behind. For instance, if you plan to go on a long drive, make sure you study the route well. Otherwise, you’d need your phone to use the GPS. You get the idea, right?

3: Send Notifications and Reminders

After scheduling your D-day, make a list of all people who depend on you to get things done. The list will include people, such as your boss, colleagues, direct reports, and clients. Review the list a couple of times to make sure you didn’t miss anyone. Then, inform the people in your list about the digital detox.

When you tell them about the detox, ask them if there’s anything important that they need you to do before the D-day. Make sure you write down the things you need to do. The success of your digital detox depends on this. Ideally, you should notify people in your immediate circle about your digital detox a week or two in advance. This gives your enough time to put structures in place to handle your absence. And three days before your detox day, remind them about it.

4: Create List of Pending Actions

Now, you have a list of things you need to do before your digital detox. Some of these things may get done with just one action. However, the remaining things may require more than one action. So, take a couple of hours to write down all actions you need to take. Then arrange the tasks in the list in the decreasing order of priority.

5: Take Care of Pending Actions

Review the entries in your actions list and complete them in the order of importance. Take care of the big ones first. They aren’t going to get any easier or less important. So, procrastination doesn’t make sense. Also, taking care of the big ones will free your time towards the end. This way, you can handle urgent business that shows up. When you complete the tasks, inform the people concerned that you have.

6: Disconnect

On the D-day, unplug your computer, pack your laptop, and switch off your mobile phones. Power down all electronic devices. This includes things like you TV, music players, and Kindle reader. When you do this, a sense of panic will envelope you. Relax, the feeling will pass. Take a deep breath and ease yourself into all the activities you’ve planned for your detox day. For more tips on how to switch off your mind, read our post A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation.

7: Enjoy Your Detox Day

If you planned it right, your detox day should keep you on your toes. On the detox day, you should be busy – busy having fun. You worked hard the past few days to make sure your digital detox won’t impact anyone negatively. Now, reap the benefits of your hard work. Kickback with your friends, play with your children, and connect with your spouse – romantically, not digitally. At the end of the detox day, you’ll feel an incredible sense of wellbeing. Plus, everyone around you will feel the good vibes too.

8: Re-Connect

When you finish your 24-hour digital detox, don’t turn all your devices on at once. Start with the non-communication devices, such as TV or music player. Then, power up your communication devices. First, check your missed calls to see if you have missed any important calls. Return any important call. Then, visit your e-mail in-box to see if you’ve missed any important mails. Reply to any important mails. After that, you can check your social media profiles. And be sure to share how great your digital detox felt. Upload pictures of all the fun things you did on your detox day. Make your friends a little jealous and encourage them to join you on your next digital detox.

Get Hooked to Getting Unhooked

Once you do a digital detox for a day as instructed here, you will get hooked to being unhooked. So, follow the same process from steps 1 to 8. You can even go on a three-day digital detox once in three months. If you’re up to the challenge and experience, do a weeklong detox once or twice a year. This will have a profound positive impact on every area of your life. So, if you’re ready for a massive spike in the quality of your life, plan your digital detox now.