In this post we are going to explain what it means to unplug technology and why it’s important.
Here you will learn practical tips for disconnecting, as well as ways to reset your mind and bring more purpose & joy to your life.
If you are ready to see the impact unplugging technology can have in your life, then this post is for you!
Let’s get started….
What does it mean to unplug from technology?
If we look at our day to day life, and how we spend the hours within it, there’s a chance a good portion of it is spent in front of a screen, in one form or another.
This time is most commonly spent on our phones, however laptops & televisions are culprits as well.
Unplugging from technology is, simply put, about taking a break from digital screens of all types.
The main objective is to give our minds a chance to rest & reset from over-stimulation and information overload.
Unplugging, meaning the intentional powering down of or walking away from our devices, can be done through regular short intermissions, daily time limits, or even longer term detoxes or sabbaticals.
It can be as simple as turning off all push notifications, deleting or limiting time spent on certain apps, or committing to specific ‘tech free’ time blocks, such as during morning or evening routines.
In any case, we are making an intentional decision to disconnect, unplug, and power down any and all digital distractions for a set amount of time.
Why should we unplug from technology?
The effects of staying ‘plugged in’ all the time can really take a toll on our minds, emotions, even our energy levels.
When we don’t make a point to unplug, take regular screen breaks, or even occasionally turn off push notifications, we leave ourselves in a constant state of fight or flight.
The over-stimulation of alerts and updates can cause us to feel distracted and anxious. This agitation occurs when we are always anticipating the next ding, chime, or vibration from our devices.
Besides the lack of focus and presence, we are also subjecting ourselves to excessive exposure to blue light.
The effect of blue light has been shown to disrupt our natural circadian rhythms (our sleep cycles) and thus causes the quality of our sleep to be greatly diminished.
As a result, we are left feeling stressed, depleted and burned out, most times without even realizing the root cause.
So, what are the benefits of unplugging?
When we make the conscious choice to unplug and disconnect, even if just for a short time, we free ourselves from this constant inundation & mental over-stimulation.
We can rest, reset, and think more clearly.
We gain clarity, focus, and most importantly, we gain back a certain level of self awareness & self control.
With this awareness, we have the opportunity to become mindful of the impulses we may have of turning to our devices during down time.
Times when we feel bored, restless, lonely, or are looking to fill a void.
Unplugging gives you the chance to notice this habit, and to choose a healthier, nourishing and uplifting analog alternative.
One of my favorite unplug yourself quotes really helps get this point across.
Sometimes we need to disconnect in order to reconnect to what matters.
How To Unplug Technology
Now that we know what it means to unplug, and the many benefits of unplugging from technology, how do we do it?
In this section, we will share exactly how to unplug yourself.
You might be asking, how often should you unplug from technology?
While that partly depends on your use case, here we will provide some practical tips ranging from simple daily habits to longer term detoxes.
We will also explain the importance of ‘resetting your mind’ during this digital break, how to do it, and how this leads to the ‘restoring’ of your life overall.
How do you unplug from technology?
Unplugging from technology starts with our intention.
We have to first begin by choosing to disconnect, and then lay out a clear plan of how we are going to achieve this.
We should define the time duration of this digital break, as well as to what degree we are going to disconnect, and then commit to follow through.
Here are a few habits and practices to consider:
- Perform a time audit of your tech use. Once you find the obvious time drains, set restrictions and limits on the apps that tend to be a problem.
- Plan your tech use for the day ahead of time. Set aside time blocks where you will interact with your digital devices, as well as specific times where you will go tech free. Be disciplined and intentional with these set time frames.
- Adopt the 'pull mindset'. This concept is the opposition to receiving push notifications. Rather than receiving instant alerts whenever they arise, you choose when to check them.
- Consider taking a 30 day tech sabbatical. This is typically done once a year, as a way to fully immerse yourself in other activities such as spending time in nature, quality time with loved ones, or time alone for in depth personal growth and development.
- Bring awareness to the void that tech is filling. Once you are clear on what it is you are looking to gain by scrolling on your phone or streaming a show, shift the habit to something that will offer the same inspiration, entertainment, connectedness or relief.
With tech unplugged, you now create the space to reset & rewire your mind.
Resetting Your Mind
There is an immediate stillness that occurs as soon as you unplug. The automatic resetting of your mind begins as soon as you take this first step.
By allowing yourself to fully embrace this stillness, you will naturally start to quiet the mind, and give it a chance to rest & reset without much effort.
Next, you can begin the active work of resetting your mind. This includes spending time in meditation, focusing on your breath, and cultivating self-awareness through journaling and reflection.
Through this awareness, you can rediscover who you are, what you’re about, explore your personal goals, interests and aspirations, all without the noise & distractions of outside influence.
However, the main objective here is about getting to the root of why you needed to unplug in the first place. Self awareness and self reflection is how we achieve this.
By getting clear on our need for a digital break, and the impulsive habits we may have built around technology, we can make a point to pivot.
We can shift our focus away from trivial things, and onto what really matters.
Notice the time you spend immersed in technology, and acknowledge what it is you are gaining from the use.
With this fresh perspective, we have an opportunity to build new neural pathways and reward systems moving forward.
How much of your time, focus and energy is spent on your devices, and what exactly it is you are getting, or looking to get, from it.
Once you are clear on the ‘why’ of your tech use, get to work finding other avenues to fulfill this space.
The resetting of our mind is done through awareness, discipline, and the intentional creation of new habits.
We are replacing mindless and excessive tech time with healthy, nourishing & productive alternatives.
You learn delayed gratification, build discipline, create new & improved habits, thus setting yourself up for a purposeful, meaningful and fully restored life!
Restore Your Life
When you are clear on what truly matters, aware of the habits that move you forward (and the ones that hinder you), you are in the position to take back control of your life.
Restoring your life is about coming back to the things that light you up, those things that give you a sense of purpose, spark creativity and make you feel alive.
This is a great time to explore your hobbies again, read a physical book, visit a local museum or attraction. I would even suggest making a fresh bucket list of all the things you’ve been wanting to do, but have been putting off for years.
Take time to walk in nature, try a new recipe, watch the sunset, notice your surroundings, observe the simple pleasures that occur throughout the course of your day.
If it's connection you’ve been seeking through your tech use, consider nurturing your relationships. Start planning regular monthly or weekly in person dates with friends, family, and loved ones.
You could also look into volunteering or helping out somewhere, join a meetup group, even making a point to spend quality time with your pet is a great way to feel connected.
Overall, this is an opportunity to set and pursue the goals that are truly important to you.
Discover How To Create Balance & Inspire Joy
Enroll in our 7-Day Course: Slow Down, Reset, and Simplify.
Here you will learn to see things through the lens of Simple Living and curate a life you love.
Because you are in control, and are aware of what’s important, the idea of losing hours to screen time becomes far less appealing.
Moving forward, you can consciously choose when to interact with technology, for what purpose, and on your own terms, based around the life you intentionally create for yourself.
Over time you will find the desire to create & experience becomes stronger than the impulse to mindlessly consume.
We don’t have to completely unplug and disconnect all together in order to have a happy and meaningful life.
It’s about having a healthy relationship with technology, and being in full control of our use.
It’s about practicing moderation, building in alternative healthy habits, and having the discipline to walk away when we need a break.
Most of us can agree that our best life experiences were at times where we were mindful, engaged and fully present in the moment, not when we were staring at a screen.
What About You?
What are some ways your life has improved from unplugging technology?
Let us know in the comments below.