Welcome to Week 3 of the Digital Detox Challenge!
Let’s dive into this weeks daily challenges…
Day 15 – De-clutter and Organize Your Apps
Today’s challenge is to de-cluttered and organize your phone by deciding which apps you actually need to have on your phone.
Start by sorting your apps based on two criteria: their potential to steal your attention (that is, suck you in) and their potential to improve your daily life (make your life logically easier). This will result in (at most) six categories of app’s.
1) TOOLS (examples…maps, photos, camera, password manager, banking, weather, music, the actual phone).
These are the apps that improve your life without stealing your attention. They are the only apps allowed to be on your home screen.
Why? because they serve a practical purpose without being tempting. They help you accomplish a specific task without any risk that you will be sucked into a black hole.
Note that email, games, shopping sites, and social media all have black hole potential and thus DO NOT get to be on your home screen.
I also recommend removing news apps and internet browsers from your home page.
2) JUNK FOOD APPS (examples…social media, news apps, shopping apps, internet browsers, messaging apps, games, email).
These are the apps that are fun or useful in limited quantities, but that are hard to stop using once you start. They sometimes can be life-improving, but they also threaten to suck you in. The trick is to decide whether they steal your attention more than they improve your life. If the apps’ risks outweigh its benefits, delete them (if you hesitate, remember that you can always reinstall it). If your enjoyment of the app outweighs its risk, relocate it to your phone’s second screen and hide it in a folder, ideally with a title that reminds you to think before you open it.
3) SLOT MACHINE APPS (example…social media , dating apps, shopping apps, games).
Every app on your phone is a dopamine trigger – but slot machine apps are the worst. These are the apps that don’t improve your life and steal your attention. Signs that an app is a slot machine or junk food app:
– you feel a sense of anticipation when you open it
– you find it hard to stop using it
– after you use it, you feel disappointed, unsatisfied or disgusted with yourself for the amount of time you spend/wasted
Slot machine apps suck. Delete them.
I’m serious. Do it now. Put your finger on an app icon until it starts jiggling, and then press the X in the corner. The app, panicking, will respond with a manipulative question (“Are you really sure you want to delete me and all my data?”). Say yes and then shake your head in disgust: everyone knows that Facebook didn’t really delete any of your data.
4) CLUTTER (example…the QR reader you installed in 2012 and haven’t looked at since).
These are apps that you never actually use. They don’t steal your attention, but they also don’t improve your life. I’m inviting you today to recognize their irrelevance and delete them.
5) UTILITY APPS
There are also some apps that serve some practical purpose, but don’t improve your daily life enough to be qualified as full-on tools (for example, the App Store).
6) THE UNDELETABLES
There are some apps that you simple can’t delete because your phone won’t let you. You can hide them in a folder on your third page, with the tile of your choosing.
BONUS TIP: FOLDERS….A FORCE FOR GOOD.
With the possible exception of your home screen, I want you to put your apps into folders even if it means that much of your home screen is empty.
The point of the folders is not just organization, but also to protect yourself from yourself.
If you put apps into folders, their icons become so small that when you swipe over to that page, you can’t immediately tell which apps are where. This means that instead of opening an app just because you happen to see it’s icon you have to pro-activity WANT to open the app.
Tidying up my phone and making it seem less cluttered gave me peace – both aesthetically and also in terms of distraction. With only apps that “I need” on my phone, I’m less likely to open it up and scroll mindlessly.
Are you ready to take on the life-changing magic of deleting and organizing your App’s?
If so, let me know in the comments. Bonus points if you share a picture of your almost empty home screen.
Day 16 – Plan a No Tech Day
Plan to take a break from technology for one complete day.
No phones, no tablets, no TV, and enjoy some soild alone time or family time, with no technology interfering.
Can you do it? Let me know in the comments below.
This Summer I set an intention to go LOW TECH at least one day per week and NO TECH once a month.
From 3:00pm on Tuesday to 3:00pm on Wednesday of this week I enjoyed a NO TECH day at the Tree of Life.
I used my phone once to capture a few photo’s and some video footage of my stay.
I enjoyed eating with friends and talking about spirituality.
I enjoyed peaceful walks in the woods and around the property.
I enjoyed waking up without an alarm.
I enjoyed meditating by the pond and stretching in the yoga hut.
I polished two wood stoves, and filled a septic tank drainage field with rocks.
And I enjoyed a peaceful drive there and back without listening to music or even the radio.
It was amazing!!! ?
Are you ready to plan a NO TECH DAY?? If so, what things will you do to reconnect with yourself and others during your screen-free time? Let me know in the comments.
Day 17 Digital Detox Challenge – Put away your phone during family time.
Smartphones are re-shaping family relationships.
As a single Mama of two small humans, I get that every parent needs a break, sometimes to connect with other adults or just to get some work done.
But what happens to children when their parents’ attention is diverted away from them and is focused on their phones?
In one recent study, researchers found that toddlers’ ability to learn new words was derailed when their moms were briefly interrupted by a cell phone call.
In another recent study, 170 couples with young children completed questionnaires and about half of them said that their smartphone usage was impacting their child’s behaviour, from sulking to temper tantrums.
As expected, the researchers found that the more parents reported phone-related interruptions, the more they reported their children displaying both types of negative behaviors.
In a different study, researchers examined the effects of parents’ smartphone use on their children’s athletic performance.
They asked children to run around the bases of a softball diamond under two different circumstances.
In one session, researchers told parents to pay attention and respond to their children as they would normally, and turn their bodies toward them.
In the other session, they told parents to immerse themselves completely in their phones and ignore their children’s bids for their attention while keeping their bodies turned toward them.
The researchers timed how long it took kids to run around the bases and they recorded how often kids tripped, fell, stumbled, or made a false start for each of the sessions.
Children ran faster and were more physically coordinated when their parents were available and responsive compared to when they were absorbed in using their mobile phones.
Smartphones are a part of our lives, and I’m not advocating that you get rid of them completely.
But I am inviting you to exert some personal control over your phone when you are with your kids, to minimize the potential negative impact on the children.
Here are three tips that can help. Which one will you start with?
1. Put your phone in another room when you’re helping your child learn something new.
2. Keep your phone in your back pocket when you’re at your kids’ games or events
3. Reflect on whether your phone use might be related to conflict you’re having with your own kids.
Studies suggest parents who are engrossed in their phones tend to respond more harshly to their kids’ misbehavior.
Children may be more inclined to engage in risky behaviors to get their parents’ attention, which might be linked to increased injuries when their parents are on their cell phones.
Is any of that happening in your house? Be honest.
If so today’s challenge is to STOP checking your phone when you’re with your kids.
Parents who aim to disconnect regularly from their cell phone and begin practicing mindful parenting find that they have more positive interactions with their children as a result.
Today, I enjoyed six hours unplugged with my kids in celebration of the last day of school.
The only time I used my phone was to capture these pictures.
What activity will you enjoy with your kids today as you take a break from your phone? Let me know in the comments.
Day 18 – Unfollow people on Social Media
Have you ever wanted to unfollow someone, but worried it might be awkward?
Or maybe you feel that you don’t want to come off as a mean person.
Today’s challenge is all about giving yourself permission to unfollow people. Maybe for your own mental health or it could be as simple as you don’t enjoying their content anymore.
Either way, remember that it’s your choice whether you follow or unfollow someone on social media.
At first, it felt pretty weird to unfollow people on Instagram and to unfriend people on Facebook, but in time not seeing them in my feed has become one of the simplest, yet most powerful thing I have done for my mental health, personally and professionally.
It’s soooo easy to fall into the comparison trap – so why do we make it harder on ourselves by following people that trigger is?
You get to choose who shows up in your life, on and off line, so choose wisely.
The thoughts we allow into our mind (and that includes other people’s thoughts as well) impacts how we feel about ourselves and or lives.
So if you feel like someone is constantly raining on your parade, unfollow them!
But know that it’s a two way street. Other people can and will unfollow you too (and that’s okay!).
No one is everyone’s cup of tea.
Sometimes, we change and our interests change. Other times, other people change.
If you’re not feeling someone else’s content anymore, you’re not obligated to follow them.
And while one photo or one post might not seem that bad, imagine following 50 people whom you don’t enjoy having on your feed anymore.
Do what feels good to you, and don’t worry so much about what everyone else is doing or thinking.
You are allowed to put your own feelings first. And so if that means unfollowing someone on Facebook then it’s your choice to do it.
Are you ready to do a deep-cleaning of your friends list? Let me know in the comments.
Day 19 – Change where you charge your phone
Many of us complain about automatically checking our phones first thing in the morning and right before bed at night (and in the middle of the night, for that matter). Well, of course we’re doing this, we’re sleeping within arms reach of our phones.
The easiest way to break this habit is to make it harder to reach for your phone while in bed. And the easiest way to do that is to create a charging station for your phone and other internet-enabled mobile devices that isn’t in your bedroom – or at least that’s not right next to your bed.
Today’s digital detox challenge is to pick a new charging spot for your phone. Do it as soon as you get home – or right now, if you’re already there – take the charger from your bedroom and plug it into your new charging station. Then remove all extra charges from your bedroom and store them in a different room or hide them in a drawer.
If you are not already using a non-phone alarm clock, please start doing so now!
If you’re worried that you’ll miss an important call when your phones in the other room, turn the ringer on (just be sure that you’ve turned off notifications so that it’s not constantly dinging at you). This essential turns your smart phone into a landline.
When my kids are with their Dad I leave my phone charging in the ensuite bathroom with the door open. And when the kids are with me I charge my phone in the kitchen.
So tell me in the comments where will your phone be sleeping tonight?
Day 20 – Stop Using Your Tech Devices While Eating
Are you eating as you read this?
AN ALARMING new study has revealed that people are so addicted to their smartphones that one in three are unable to sit down and enjoy a meal without them. And it’s not just phones that take our focus away from the food we’re eating — 72 percent often watch TV while eating.
As a single Mama I’ve been known to pull out my phone while eating dinner alone at home or at a restaurant.
So, what is the impact of all of this tech distracted eating?
1) It affects the quality of food we prepare, the enjoyment of what we eat and even the amount we eat.
2) It also decreases social engagement. The more people are distracted by their digital devices the less socially engaged they are.
Instead of grabbing for your phone as soon as you sit down to eat, keep it tucked away and try connecting with others or with yourself in one of these ways.
- People watch. Use your imagination and make up stories about the people you see.
- Write in a journal.
- Practice mindful eating. Pay attention to the flavors of the food and the sensations you experience while eating.
- Read a book.
- Do a crossword puzzle and ask others around you for help if you need it.
- Practice stillness and being OK with doing nothing. (This may be the most difficult one, but it may be the one that helps you connect with yourself the most.
For those of us who like to multitask (or who don’t even like it–we just do it, because there are so many things on our to-do list that needs to get done), putting down the phone while eating is a challenge. So let’s try it!
Can you get through your next meal without glancing at your phone or computer? Let me know in the comments.
Day 21 – Scroll Free Sunday
This is your friendly remember to put down all digital devices and make it a scroll-free day.
Sundays are for family time, but how much of your time with family is spent scrolling through your phone? By putting down our phones during this time, we get quality time to connect with our kids, husbands or partners, and also ourselves.
Today’s challenge is to put down your phone today. Stop the scrolling to reconnect, and enjoy being fully present with those around you. Plus, make sure to also enjoy some guilt-free YOU time.
Instead of scrolling enjoy being fully present with your family, take some time to meal prep and to plan your workouts for the week, or enjoy an extra long bubble bath.
Let me know in the comments tomorrow morning what you did instead of scrolling.
Are you ready for Week 4 of our 30-Day Digital Detox? If so, CLICK HERE.