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8 Ways A Digital Detox Will Increase Your Productivity

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There is a downside to being constantly plugged in. We all know that spending too much time online can be tiring and dulls our focus. A trade-off we must make for the benefits of living in a more connected world. If we aren’t careful however, the amazing technology that helps us to reach more people, be more informed, and do better business can really hinder our productivity

Luckily, there’s an easy way to kick your productivity levels back into high gear – a digital detox. A digital detox can mean anything from completely restricting access to all electronic devices, to simply taking a few hours off of Twitter. To do your own digital detox, simply identify a social platform or device that eats up your attention and abstain from it for as long as you can.

Here’s how you will benefit:

1. Easier to get in the zone

Have you ever been working on something and realised that you are completely in the zone? Your fingers are typing at maximum speed, your ideas are clear and constructed, and the work is simply flowing out of you. Ah, the blissful zone of productivity. Removing the constant distractions of the online world makes it easier to get in the zone and do your best work.

2. Increased attention

What you nurture grows, and there is no more powerful nourishment than your full attention. In order to get the best results on a task, consistent sustained attention is required. That’s hard to do if you keep being distracted by a barrage of emails or the compulsion to see how your ex is doing on Instagram. Switching off is the best way to ensure that you give any task the attention it requires, and guarantees that you will get the best possible results in the least amount of time.

“Disconnecting from our technology to reconnect with ourselves is absolutely essential for wisdom.” – Arianna Huffington

3. Constructive passive thinking

Picture the scene. You take a stroll to the kitchen to make some coffee. Now that you’re partaking in a digital detox, and aren’t allowing yourself to have any online distractions, you must come up with some other way to entertain your brain. So, you allow your mind to wander as you wait for the kettle to boil. Before you know it, you’re thinking about different ways to approach a tough problem and are brainstorming new ideas. In fact, you’re being noticeably more productive, and the best part is that you’re not even trying at all.

4. Improved memory and better decision-making

Constantly being distracted by pop-up notifications steals our focus and makes it more difficult to recall information. This inattentiveness makes it easy to forget valuable nuggets of information, leading to inefficiency and poor decisions. Thankfully, the simple act of unplugging from online distractions is all you need to restore focus, be more productive, and engage in better decision-making.

5. Better relationships

Spending too much time on social media makes you less present in real social situations and damages relationships. This is important because the impact of your relationships with others on your productivity levels is deceptively high. Being able to bounce ideas off of a colleague, learning new perspectives from a mentor, talking about worries with a friend, or getting fired up to complete a task with your team are all things that improve your productivity levels.

Not allowing yourself to become distracted by the digital world and instead using that time to cultivate deeper relationships will pay off dividends with regard to productivity – both for you and for those around you.

6. Less stress, more success

Our constant connection to the digital world is a big contributor to stress, and never being able to fully relax or unwind leaves us feeling pent-up and anxious. This is of course, far from the ideal state for maximum productivity. When we are stressed, we are more likely to procrastinate on a project and feel overwhelmed by it, which in turn makes us even more stressed! A short reprieve from the stressors of the digital world can be enough to break free from this loop and it’s productivity-killing effects. 

“Are you using your device or is your device using you?” – Denzel Washington

7. Physical health benefits

Too much screen time can lead to eye strain and muscular discomfort, and the horrible neck and back pain that results from spending too much time hunching over your phone can prevent you from doing your best work. When it comes to easing the stress on your body, every minute counts. Why not take the time you would have spent scrolling through cat memes in the afternoon to take a walk or stretch out a bit and see how much more energetic and productive you feel.

8. Saying no to FOMO

Constantly being online where everyone only shares the highlight reel of their day can leave you with the dreaded Fear Of Missing Out. This FOMO leads us to neglect the things that we are currently working toward, in pursuit of a hollow ideal. Ironically, being influenced by FOMO online means that we’re already missing out – by losing sight of our own goals and getting lost in the sea of what others deem valuable.

Susie Johnson is a writer and the founder of discoverimprove.com. She specialises in cutting through the fluff to provide actionable self-improvement advice. When Susie’s not writing, she enjoys being a guinea pig for wacky personal development experiments of her own devising.

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