Achieving a healthy balance with screen time is difficult for most people, but throw a digital career into the mix and it can seem almost impossible. We live in an era now where being constantly connected is the norm, but this can wreak havoc with your wellbeing. If you're keen to spend time offline, read on to discover how to switch off and transition to a more screen-free life.
Go Screen-Free In The Workplace
It's been proven that spending less time staring at a screen during the day can help you sleep better at night. But this means actually reducing screen-time at work, which can require some perseverance. And while going screen-free in the workplace may seem impossible, it's actually quite easy to do by making some simple switches. Tech-free meetings, for example, are becoming quite the trend with employees wanting to reduce their digital dependancy. They involve having no smartphones or laptops present during meetings, and instead relying on good old-fashioned note taking with a trusty pen and paper.
Similarly, avoiding checking your personal phone during the working day is another way to cut down your screen-time. Lunchtime is when most of us become glued to our handsets, so instead, why not start embracing a lunchtime walk with colleagues, or taking up a fitness class at a nearby gym to keep you occupied and away from tech.
Remove Out-Of-Hours Access To Email
Working in the digital sphere can lead you to believe that you have to have an 'always on' attitude. But constantly being connected can take its toll on you emotionally and mentally. To help you differentiate between your work and down time, we recommend keeping the two very separate - this means blocking your work email on your mobile, not checking work-related devices after ours, and deleting all work-related apps, like LinkedIn, from your mobile. Of course, this is harder to implement if you're freelance and work sporadic hours. In this case, setting a timeline of when you can log on - and being strict about sticking to it - should help.
Set App Timers
Of course, there are times during the day where you just can’t avoid being online and connected. But, there are also times where you can totally unplug and disconnect from the digital world. Setting clear boundaries for when you can and can't be online can help you achieve a more harmonious work/life balance and allow you to really switch off in the evenings.
Peeling yourself away from your mobile or laptop is no easy feat, but luckily, technology brands have evolved so much so that they now understand that we need some tech-free 'me time'. To help, they've devised some very handy starting points. Take Apple, for example: their iPhones give you the option to set time limits on certain apps, meaning you can only access them during specific hours of the day, or for a certain amount of time per day. Similarly, Motorola has launched a special sleep mode that can be activated by shaking the handset, and that only allows emergency calls from favourited contacts to come through as notifications, to help you avoid the temptation of constantly checking your phone for updates from friends and social media.
Check In To A Digital Detox Clinic
Occasionally, we could use an extra push to stay offline, and this is where digital detox clinics come into play. Tapping into the increasing consumer demand for tech-free relaxation, certain hotels like Hilton London Bankside are encouraging guests to surrender their phones at the concierge desk when they check-in. In return, they'll be handed a goody bag containing a face mask, bath salts, sudoku and a pack of playing cards to promote device-free pampering and off-screen entertainment. You can also take your favourite book to help you unwind (if you're looking for something new to read, we've got plenty of great reading recommendations here).