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Digital Detox Tips to Reclaim your Time and Well-Being

Digital Detox Tips to Reclaim your Time and Well-Being

In today’s busy world, it’s easy to get caught up in the constant stream of digital information. Smartphones, social media, emails, and the internet have become an integral part of our lives. While these tools are incredibly useful, they can also lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout if not managed properly. Try these digital detox tips to reclaim your time and well-being.


A digital detox involves taking a break from digital devices and online activities. For me, this means intentionally stepping away from these both in my personal life and my work life. This break allows you to disconnect from the constant connectivity and refocus on real-world interactions and activities.

The goal is to reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and enhance your overall quality of life by being more present, engaged, mindful and also even find ways to connect and consume that don’t rely on our phones and devices.


There are many good reasons to set yourself a little digital detox challenge and step away from the gadgets, screens and electronics. Here are some digital detox benefits which you might enjoy!

1. Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Constant notifications and the pressure to stay updated can lead to stress and anxiety and can lead us to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). A detox helps to reduce this mental load and know that it’s ok to step away and disconnect sometimes.

2. Improve Focus and Productivity: Taking a break from digital distractions can help you concentrate better and be more productive. Instead of checking in on your phone to see what you might have missed or getting distracted by the latest email or your social media feeds, you can focus just on what you’re doing – and maybe do it better!

3. Enhance Relationships: Spending less time on screens allows you to connect more deeply with family and friends. You can be present for conversations, really listen and take in what’s being said to you, without keeping an ear out for your phone or having your face buried in the latest reels.

4. Better Sleep: Reducing screen time, especially before bed, can improve sleep quality. It’s well-known looking at our screens in the lead-up to bedtime can play havoc with our bodies and confuse our circadian rhythm.

5. Physical Health: Less screen time can lead to fewer headaches, eye strain, and better posture. I don’t know about you, but I can get engrossed in what I’m doing so I have to remind myself to take regular breaks, walk around and stretch my shoulders and wrists. Incidentally, this is where the Pomodoro Technique becomes really helpful. 25 minutes of work or concentration followed by 5-10 minutes break doing another activity like walking, stretching, moving around – rinse and repeat. This is how I get most of my work done at home and in the office!

Digital Detox Tips


Here are some tips to help you prepare for your digital detox.

1. Set Clear Goals: Define why you want to do a digital detox. Is it to reduce stress, improve focus, or spend more time with loved ones? Having clear goals will keep you motivated, and you can keep these in mind when you find yourself reaching for your phone!

2. Choose a Time Frame: Decide how long your detox will last. It could be a day, a weekend, a week, or even longer. Start with a manageable period and gradually extend it if needed. If you’re glued to your phone, start with a half-hour detox and build it up. You’re more likely to succeed the challenge if it’s realistic and achievable.

3. Let Others Know Your Plans: Let your family, friends, and colleagues know about your detox. This way, they’ll understand why you might not respond to messages or emails immediately. If you’re worried how they’ll contact you in an emergency, come up with a plan should something come up. For example, do you have a landline phone they could ring?

4. Plan Offline Activities: Prepare a list of activities you can do without digital devices. This could include reading a book, going for a walk, cooking, or spending time with loved ones. Any time you’re tempted to go back to your screen, look at this list and just pick something to distract you. It gets easier with practice!


Here are some tips to help you start your digital detox.

1. Identify Your Digital Habits: Take note of how and when you use your devices. What triggers you to reach for them? Is it boredom? To relax? Whilst you’re waiting for something? Identify the apps and activities that consume most of your time.

2. Create Boundaries: Set specific times of the day when you will use digital devices and when you will avoid them. For example, you might decide to check your phone only in the morning and evening. Setting boundaries like this gives you a clear understanding of what is and isn’t allowed as part of your digital detox.

3. Turn Off Notifications: Disable non-essential notifications on your phone and other devices. This reduces interruptions and helps you stay focused on offline activities. I find I can stay off my phone much more easily if I’m not constantly reminded of its presence by pings, buzzes, banners and alerts popping up!

4. Use Airplane Mode: When you don’t need to be reachable, switch your phone to airplane mode. This eliminates the temptation to check for messages or updates.

5. Designate Device-Free Zones: Create areas in your home where digital devices are not allowed, such as the dining room or bedroom. This encourages more face-to-face interaction with the people that matter to you in your home and life and better sleep. Having to go to another room to get your phone might just be enough effort to put you off from getting it so you end up doing something else instead. Make something more difficult and us humans tend to avoid it more!

6. Unplug Before Bed: Set a rule to turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime. Use this time to unwind and prepare for sleep. Make a list of things you could do. For example, you could journal, read a book, take a bath, do some gentle stretches. What would you like to do?

Digital Detox Tips


Here are some ways you could get more enjoyment and benefit from your digital detox.

1. Reconnect with Nature: Spend time outdoors. Go for a hike, visit a park, or simply take a walk around your local neighbourhood. Nature has a calming effect, helps reduce stress and is the perfect antidote to too much scrolling and screentime.

2. Read a Book: Pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read. Reading can be a great way to relax and escape from the digital world. There’s plenty of research to suggest that reading is such a great way to reduce stress.

3. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: Use this time to practice mindfulness or meditation. These practices can help you stay present and reduce anxiety by helping us get (and stay) centred in the present. They also encourage us to focus on ourselves and our space, rather than checking out other people’s lives through the filtered lens of social media.

4. Engage in Creative Activities: Try activities that stimulate your creativity, such as drawing, painting, or playing a musical instrument. These can be fulfilling and enjoyable and are far better for our brains than swiping up and down.

5. Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones: Use your digital detox as an opportunity to strengthen your relationships. Have meaningful conversations, play board games, or cook a meal together. Prioritise connection with people over technological consumption.

6. Exercise: Physical activity is a great way to spend your time during a detox. Go for a run, practice yoga, or join a fitness class.


What did you learn from your digital detox?

1. Journal Your Experience: Write about your digital detox experience and what you learned about your habits. Reflect on how it felt to be disconnected, what you enjoyed, and what challenges you faced. This can all help next time you want to try another detox.

2. Evaluate Your Goals: Assess whether you achieved your goals. Did you feel less stressed? Were you able to focus better? What did you gain or lose from the detox challenge? Use your answers to plan future detoxes so you can get the most out of them.

3. Plan for the Future: Consider integrating regular digital detoxes into your routine. You might decide to have a digital-free day each week or set boundaries around device usage. Start small and realistic and build up for longer periods, say a whole month or more.

4. Maintain Healthy Digital Habits: Use the insights gained from your detox to develop healthier digital habits. This might include setting limits on screen time, regularly unplugging, and engaging in real-world activities rather than the online virtual world of liking and following other people’s real-world adventures.

Digital Detox Tips


One other way to make the most of your digital detox and to stick to it, is to create some boundaries around your use of phones and other devices. To help explain what I mean, here are some recent things I’ve been doing to cut down on my use of phones, screens and social media.

1. Delete Apps: It’s much harder for me to check social media from my phone now that I’ve removed the apps. I’m forced to go to my laptop now which requires more effort than just reaching for my phone and this extra effort usually puts me off!

2. Link Digital Usage With Another Activity: I enjoy social media, and listening to audio books on my phone but for now I’ve set a rule to only watch YouTube videos when I’m walking on the treadmill. I can choose a video I want to watch (which is something I look forward to) alongside getting in my steps (which I don’t enjoy quite so much). This decision entices me to exercise because I get to do something I’m enjoying alongside something that’s good for me so it’s like a double-win!

3. Only Use Your Phone/Screen In A Certain Area: To create a better work-life balance, I’ve recently decided to only work from my office, rather than in my living room. The extra focus and intentionality has really helped me focus my work and stopped me checking emails in every spare minute. My next step is to stop looking at my phone in some rooms, like the living room, just as an experiment. I’ll let you know how it goes!

4. Phone-Time Curfew: My latest habit is to stop looking at my phone after dinner and instead listen to audio books. I’ve loved learning new things, especially reading personal development books, so this is what I’ve been doing instead of TV and screens in the evening. So far, I’ve loved the break from a screen and my brain feels full of new ideas (but also more restful before sleep). Do you have a curfew for YOUR phone-time?

5. Use a Habit-Tracker: At the end of this article you can get a habit-tracker printable to help you chart your habits and how well you’re keeping up with them. Writing things down and having a visual record of your achievements is a great way to stay motivated!


A digital detox can be a refreshing and rewarding experience. After the initial moments of feeling almost naked without my phone in my pocket, I’ve actually grown to love my regular detoxes and feel liberated and free instead!

It allows you to step back from the constant noise of the digital world and reconnect with yourself and those around you. A regular detox can help you feel the benefits of reduced stress, improved focus, and enhanced well-being. However, remember, the goal is not to eliminate digital devices from your life or to make life feel more difficult, but to create a healthy balance that prioritises your mental and physical health.

I’d love to know whether you’re up for a digital detox and what you’ve learnt or hope to learn from the experience. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!


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