Tuesday, August 28, 2012

9 Basic Rules For A Tech DeTox

Two years ago I embarked on my first technology detox. I was rather ambitious. I decided seven days would be the minimum amount of time necessary to effectively cleanse my system of the poisons of  24/7 technology overload. It was an eye-opening and admittedly  difficult adventure that was chronicled  on this blog as well as on ForbesWoman.  

I learned a lot, about myself and the world we now live in. For example:
  • Technology addiction is widespread and if not kept under control can be hazardous to your psyche and productivity.
  • We are lured in with incessant media sound bites encouraging us to feed our habit. We fear if we are not keeping up with whatever else is going on at this very moment we are going to miss out. Lose. Something. But the fact is we don’t. At least nothing of great consequence.
  • I had much more time in my life than I was owning up to. I was just misusing it.
  • This would not be the last time I would need to take a break and detox. Like too much of the wrong food, periodically we need to stop, avoid the demons and cleanse ourselves of the impurities clogging up our system, until we can feel the essence of who we are again.
  • Seven days is rather stringent.  Three can do the trick and give you a good reboot of  clarity as to what is really important.

I've noticed the last week or so, that it's time again. But like all diets, I've been saying I'll start tomorrow for a lot of yesterdays. But this time I really mean it! And since I'm writing this blog, now I can't back out. Besides what better way to gain some clarity and focus on creation instead of consumption right before the Fall starts, than to shut it all off?

So how will I do this? By following what I consider the 9 Basic Rules for a Tech DeTox.

  1. NO social media. No reading of and/or engaging in. That includes but is not limited to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ or Instagram.
  2. Limit reading your email to 3x a day for no more than twenty minutes at a time. Use an egg timer. My suggestion is to check in the morning, before lunch and at the end of the business day. Note: you need to close down the program for this to work. Otherwise those intrusive reminders, all those bells, whistles and alerts will lure you in.
  3. No meals with or in front of technological devices including but not limited to  smartphones, iPads, desktops, or television.
  4. Experiment with only getting news from a printed newspaper. This may be a stretch for many, but reading the on-line editions is a temptation to wander about in cyberspace.
  5. Limit your television time to destination entertainment viewing only. No aimless meandering with a remote in hand in search of a rerun of Sex andThe City.
  6. Focus on creating, not consuming. (For me, this will mean ALOT of writing and planning)
  7. Experiment with using a pen and paper to take notes, or anything in that vein that will keep you from touching anything electronic.
  8. DO NOT multi-task.  For example, no walking and talking on the phone.
  9. Alert all those of real importance in your life what you are up to so they don't wonder why you have not commented on their newest FB picture or take it personally you did not answer their last email in thirty seconds. If they want you they will find you. Trust me.

Tech Dieter's Note: You may find yourself cheat, nibbling away on your favorite social media network like it was a warm chocolate chip cookie you just could not resist. It happens. I confess I have been guilty of just such indulgence when I am in the midst of a tech detox. My advice? Enjoy the moment, own up to the fact you fell off the wagon, and get back on. 

I'll be detoxing until next Wednesday. If there is something really critical you need to find me about, like you are finally ready to sign up for some serious coaching, just shoot me an email. I'll be checking 3x a day!  


Jkamens said...

Great idea...but why not go whole hog. In our observant Jewish home we turn off all tech for 25 hours every week plus some additional holidays. It is an awesome way to break the tech craving cycle and see how well you can do without it.
I am talking no phones, TV, book readers, emails - nada.
We read (books), play (games on boards), sit with friends and eat (no tech in site to compete).
Try it just once...

Unknown said...

Good suggestion. I created my recipe so I might work and keep a business going at the same time I diet. For me it is about the discipline of monitoring the intrusions so they don't get out of hand.