The idea is to give yourself a complete break from screens of any kind for two days a week. The results, Jo Formosa promises, will surprise you.
Decide which days you ‘re going to detox on and mark them on a calendar, choosing days that you expect to be less challenging for you. You don’t have to do two entire days or even two days in a row – try four half-days, or even just one day at first. Be smart about it so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
Prepare yourself for how it will feel to be without the devices you’ve come to rely on for so many things, such as appointment reminders and weather checks. Also, map out any travel routes (no Google Maps!) and take care of any urgent online banking and bill paying in advance.
That means family, friends and co-workers. Advise them ahead of time that you’ll be offline on your chosen days, so they don’t get worried when you don’t respond. Post it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too, so your whole social sphere knows you’re taking a break from technology and that they shouldn’t expect to hear back from you until your detox time is up.
Treat your personal email like your work email. This will help alleviate any anxiety you have about being able to switch off
– you’ll have put systems into place so you are in control, not your devices.
Turn off all notifications, including texts, apps and email. Don’t use your phone as a clock – get an alarm clock and start wearing a watch again (but not a smartwatch). To further reduce interruptions during your time out, put your phone on silent. Some phones also have a Priority mode which means you only receive calls from designated people e.g. your partner, your parents, your kids.
People will leave voicemail if their call is about an urgent matter. So turn off your phone and, if you need to, check your messages just once a day.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even spending half a day tech free is better than nothing – you’re still making progress.
Plan some genuine ‘face time’ with friends and family, and ask them to put their phones away, too. You might even inspire them to try a tech detox, and maybe on the same days too, so you can get some proper downtime together.
Try to be in bed by 10pm, or get eight hours’ sleep, on the two ‘fasting’ days. This will help your system to recharge.