See if this scene feels familiar: Your phone alarm goes off, and you immediately turn it off only to fire up your email app. You scroll and you scroll, and eventually you switch apps to scroll some more.
You eventually hop out of bed and put on your favorite podcast as you are getting ready. Once you sit down for breakfast, you open Twitter to scroll through the day’s headlines after you send off a few emails to team members regarding various projects.
You get to the office and are digitally connected for the next nine or 10 hours. You are constantly checking your email, stopping in the middle of tasks to respond to messages. You are Slacking more time-sensitive messages and frequently keeping tabs on your project management system.
Once you get home, your phone is still glued to your hand. The email checking doesn’t stop, and now you’ve invited social platforms into the mix: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on. You eventually wind-down with a glass of wine on the couch with your iPad resting on your lap as you peruse the day’s headlines once more.
You climb into bed, shut off the light, and still the endless scroll continues. You eventually give into sleep, only to wake in the morning and begin the pattern all over again.
Lather, rinse, repeat, and many of your days start to look the same.
It’s time to fight back against this interconnectedness. As the year comes to a close and people begin setting their intentions and resolutions for 2017, make a digital detox a top priority. Technological advances have allowed everyone to feel connected at all times, which is great—to an extent. But drawbacks come when you feel too connected and like you never get a breather. Take these steps to unwind and unplug as we head into the new year.
Stop The Scroll
Think about how much time you spend scrolling through various apps and on various web pages throughout the day. Do you actually consume all that you read or does it just wash over you? Be mindful of your scrolling and ensure it is beneficial; everyone is busy these days, so don’t let mindless scrolling take up more of your time than it needs to.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of keeping your email open and firing off responses as soon as a new message lands in your inbox. Resist this temptation. Ruining your workflow can actually make it harder for you to get back on track once you check and respond to any emails. Instead, carve out 30-minute segments throughout the day where you dedicate that time solely to managing your mail. This will keep you focused on the tasks at hand during the day without making you fall behind when it comes to a clean and orderly inbox.
Institute A Lights-Out Policy
When you were growing up, did you parents have a lights-out policy in place? Perhaps you could get in bed and read, but come 9 p.m., you had to shut of the lights and go to sleep. Set a similar policy for yourself and your phone. You might not need to give yourself a strict bedtime, but making a concerted effort to quit looking at your phone after a certain hour will help quell any digital-related activities. Sub out that phone time for reading a book or spending time with family. Your brain will begin to power down; your eyes won’t be subject to the light of your phone or other digital devices; and you’ll spend more mindful time with something other than a smart device. Win, win, win.
Burchard & Associates is an executive search firm specialized in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.