Dina Younis is a local lifestyle blogger. You can follow her on the Akronist each month.
Between my day job as communications manager, Dina’s Days and my personal networks, I spend a lot of time online. Truly, I’m connected almost all day. Although I appreciate and value all of these aspects of my life, as soon as I get home at night, I often reach a point where I’m repulsed by the simple sound of an email notification. I’m usually pretty good about taking a bi-annual blogcation where I completely disconnect from blogging and social media, but I’m really trying to force myself to disconnect on a regular basis. Here are some ways that have helped me put the iPhone away and turn the computer off:
- Leave your phone in another room for hours. Unless I’m expecting an important call, I plug my phone in my bedroom after work and leave it there for several hours. It’s nice to physically be away from the device for a few hours.
- Borrow a really good book from the library. Nothing beats hours of reading a great book followed by an amazing nap.
- Watch a really good series on Netflix. It will be hours before I check my email or social media if I’m in the middle of The Fall or Broadchurch.
- Respond to your social media notifications one to two times per day all at once. Who said we need to respond to social media notifications right away? There’s no rule that said we need to log on and respond every hour. I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to check my social media networks a couple times a day.
- Put your phone on do not disturb for a few hours at a time. iPhones have an awesome feature where you can put your phone on “do not disturb” (settings, do not disturb). All calls, alerts and messages will be silenced, and when calls come through, they go straight to voicemail. You can set it to where you can receive notifications from certain numbers in case you’re expecting an important call.
- Log out of e-mail at work. I’ve said this before, and I still believe in this. Nothing – and I mean nothing – is more distracting than e-mails at work. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the fact that we can accomplish so much via e-mail, but sometimes we just need to ‘x’ out for blocks at a time to really focus on a project. I try to respond to non-urgent emails at the end of the workday if I’m really busy.
- Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning. I try to start my day by having a glass of water and drinking a cup of coffee in silence before I check my notifications and emails. This isn’t always easy, but it feels so great when I do. I figure, I’m going to be connected for the next eight or so hours, what’s an hour to myself in the morning?
To read more from Dina’s Days, or to share how you like to unplug, click here.