Neuroscientists observed 35 people who were totally cut off from their devices in the Moroccan desert. The results were life-changing.
Smartphones, laptops and tablets, combined with the increasing wireless Internet accessibility, enable technology users to constantly be connected to the digital world. Constant online connectivity may have a negative impact on the users’ experience with electronic connecting devices and result in a wish to temporarily refrain from communication technology usage.
It started happening ever so quietly in the fourth quarter of 2017. The digital detox. Now, watch for it to be a major trend in 2018. From your work life to your personal life, everyone is in search of the ultimate luxury: tech-free hours. Arianna Huffington, who always seems to be spot on with her forecasting, says, “We’re at an inflection point.” She got the sleep thing right so don’t be unprepared to detox (and be sure to smile and not frown when you or your team receive the phones down command). Here’s a few ways (and the signs that is it underway) to break our mutual addictions; and, don’t be surprised when your boss, friends, and significant others start asking you for distraction-free time.
Guide For Digital Detox.
The New Digital Work Week. Something old is new again. It used to be that you needed to respond Monday through Sunday to most work-related emails and texts. Other than true weekend business emergencies, there is a quiet movement to restore the Monday through Friday work week. Emails and texts are becoming more verboten on Saturday and Sundays. Make sure you are observing the new protocol that emails can start back up on Sunday evenings. It’s not something anyone is talking about, it’s just understood.
Meeting Etiquette Is About To Change. Get prepared or even better, start adapting this new work behavior right now because your boss is going to be asking you sooner rather than later. Devices are going to be banned from more and more meetings. Why? Look around the room. Everyone is on their phones versus paying attention to the content or information being exchanged. How can you brainstorm or get to the best outcome when an entire team is heads down in distraction mode? Don’t delude yourself. Your boss notices everyone is texting each other during a meeting and that no one is making eye contact. It’s a trend worth adapting before you and everyone else is asked to fall in lin.3
Improve Your Productivity. If you want to get more done during the week, put your phone down for a few hours each day and concentrate on key projects and tasks. These mini digital breaks produce impressive results and give you a break from multi-tasking while providing distraction free time.5
Share Information More Seamlessly. You won’t be checking your phone as much if you use this organization tool for team info-sharing. Well-known and named ‘App of the Year’ by several techie outlets, Wunderlist, a cross-platform professional to-do list and project organizer, with apps for Windows and OS X, Android and iOS, Windows Phone, the web, and more, allows you and your team members to synch project lists and inboxes. Set and share due dates, reminders, and assign to-dos. It’s an easy way to never miss a deadline and minimize all the inter-group texting. One caveat, it’s transitioning to a new version named “To Do” but don’t switch yet. All the sharing capabilities aren’t integrated yet so wait it out.
Restaurant Bans. If it hasn’t already happened to you, it will. Restaurants just like movie theaters are going to start banning phone conversations during meal times. This is honestly a welcome relief and you can get on board with the trend now. The art of conversation is making a comeback and if you’re at a business lunch or dinner, expect a phones down requests.
Finally, if you really want to get ambitious about digital detoxing, Mute is a new app all about living less on your phone. It actually makes you feel good about not being glued to your phone. Imagine ‘a Fitbit for digital detoxing’. Good luck. You might just find if you take the initiative, you’ll enjoy your tech free hours, be more productive on the work front, and your personal life will improve in the process.
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