November 16th, 2018
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How and Why to Go Offline Once a Week
Smartphones, computers and tablets expose us to a continuous flow of information, in the office and at home. To avoid burnout, some people implement disconnection strategies.
Emails, SMS or social networks … our smartphones are full of notifications as soon as we wake up. Professional and personal messages blend together, but all seem to require immediate attention.
And yet, our digital story had begun well. In the mid-1990s, we discovered the Internet and its incredible potential for immediacy and openness to the world. At the turn of the 2010s, smartphones offered us the opportunity to respond to emails from bed or find the direction of a restaurant in two clicks.
But the charm is over. The proof? Some leaders of Google, Yahoo!, Apple and eBay position their children away from new technologies, sending them to schools without computers and tablets. Is a “voluntary disconnection” movement underway?
Executives too connected … and too stressed
Computers, smartphones and tablets have quickly become essential tools in business. Managers are the first to say that they are “very connected” and to consider that it is impossible for them not to be.
The result? Eight out of ten executives believe that new technologies result in more information, less time to process, and a fuzzy boundary between work and personal life. Not surprisingly, 60% of executives surveyed believe that these tools contribute to making their working lives more stressful.
Do executives manage to resist the injunction of the “always available”? Some of them feel that they cannot disconnect because they have to stay tuned to the pulse of the business.
That’s the reason we want to propose a small measure that can be implemented and have a great impact on your personal and family life: go offline once a week! We present the benefits.
1. Enjoy what really matters
Focus only on what is important. Maybe you have a project that you need to finish, family to spend quality time with, or a book that you want to read; As you move away from useless memes, celebrity news, and cute cat videos, you can free your mind without distractions.
2. Reconnect with yourself
This allows you to think and act without the influence of external forces. Away from trending topics or endless scrolls, you only have your own thoughts and ideas, which is incredibly liberating, almost as liberating as a massage or a meditation session.
3. Sleep better
It is a common night ritual for many people to check social networks or watch Netflix until the early hours, which has a high cost to the body’s need for rest. Transmitting bright lights to your brain before you sleep keeps you awake and busy when you should be resting your mind. If you stop this even for one night, you will instantly notice how fresh and ready you are in the morning to attack the day and do things. Maybe it will even inspire a new habit.
You will suddenly remember what it’s like to have a conversation or to read a complete book without having to feverishly check your phone. This level of focus will allow you to accomplish your tasks. Without the interruptions and distractions of media or online games, you will become a new version of yourself.
5. Unexpected profits
Imagine if you could complete those important tasks in your day offline. With no distractions, how many hours would you gain; two, four, six? That’s all the time that could be beneficial to you. And when you are back online the next day, you could use your time online to do useful things such as using a website to learn a second language or applying for a better job! A break from being online allows you to reconsider how to use your time online more wisely; your desire to continuously scroll through Instagram will likely decrease.
In conclusion, the benefits of going offline once a week are worth the effort, but if you feel a whole day is too much to start with, here are some little steps towards the goal:
- Take an evening meal without turning on the television and putting aside your smartphone and tablet.
- Turn off the WiFi and move your phone away from your bed at night to avoid temptations.
- Set the breakfast table at night and place your computer next to your bowl or plate. The emails received during the night will wait until the next morning to be managed.
- During the day, set alarms on your smartphone to act as time slots on when to reply to your personal messages.
The principle is: I have to master my smartphone. I decide when I want to consult and use it. I take control of its use to get the best and keep only the positive of this extraordinary technological revolution! Good luck with your digital detox :)