Day 29 – Digital Detox | 31 Days of Decluttering

Hello friends! 

We're into the final stretch. It's our last week and I've got something special for you today. This assignment is going to be especially hard for people born after the 80s, me included. Today we do a digital detox and stay off-line for a day. Can you believe that the average user checks their smartphone 150 times a day? And that adults spend an average of almost 9 hours a day on screens?! That's insane! 

When I think of how many hours I've spend over the past years scrolling through social media sites, googling random things to keep me occupied, or watching youtube videos... it's scary! We are so used to constantly be "on call" and "up to date" that we forget how relaxing and freeing it feels to spend some time without the addictive commitment to our digital devices. Let's do this!

The Goal

  • being more productive
  • being more present & mindful
  • living in the moment
  • better sleep
  • better ability to concentrate
  • lower stress levels 
  • thinking more clearly
  • feeling re-energized 
  • producing instead of consuming
  • reconnecting with what "really" matters

Guiding Questions

Does the thought of doing this digital detox make me feel uncomfortable? 
How do I want to spend my lifetime?
Does my phone / computer feel like a stress factor?
Does the scrolling and surfing make me happy, or does it make me tired?
Is my first thought of the day connected to my mobile phone?
Am I obsessed with my phone or certain apps?
Do I spend more hours in the day on digital media than "real life"?
Do I feel like I just need a break?

Working Steps

1. Log out and unplug

After reading this blog post, turn off any electronic devices, including computers, laptops, tablets, phones, and games consoles, and place them somewhere they won't tempt you – out of sight, out of mind! 

In fact, switch off your wifi router as well. You won't be needing it today.

To make things easier, eat your meals in a different room from all digital devices today, set up a charging station for your smartphone outside of your bedroom (to prevent any social media scrolling at bedtime), and spend some time outside, away from any temptation – leave your phone at home. 

Let people know beforehand if you think it might let anyone down! Or activate your out-of-office on your emails to let people know you won't be responding.

2. Go through your guiding questions

What is your first impulse? To grab your phone? What can you do instead? What brings you joy?

3. Do what makes you happy

Now that you don't have to busy yourself with any electronic device, take this time to be productive, or do something inspiring! 

  • Read a book (some easy-reading thriller or lifestyle book will do)
  • Draw
  • Decorate your house in a fall theme
  • Exercise
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Make a scrapbook
  • Declutter your cellar or the space under your bed (😉)
  • Visit a cosy café and enjoy a hot beverage
  • Call a friend
  • Take photos on a camera instead of your smartphone (or don't take any photos at all and enjoy with your eyes)
  • Go out in the evening and be social
  • Bake a bread
  • Deep clean your house
  • Sit outside with a cocktail and watch the sunset
  • Or do an activity you've never done before
  • ... 

You will be surprised how much more you get done without the distraction of your phone or your laptop! 

If you need some more inspiration, here is a list of 25 electronic free activities you could do today :)

4. Celebrate

This might have been the hardest assignment of the challenge yet! Well done, my friend. I'm proud of you. Unless you cheated – in which case you should really, really do this exercise next weekend instead! No excuses.

If you like, turn each Sunday into a digital detox day, or spend future holidays disconnected from digital devices. The least you can do is turn off your phone alarm for tomorrow, and use a good old alarm clock to wake up in the morning! (Try to resist the urge to look at your phone first thing in the morning :)

Now go take a break!