014 – Digital Detox Success Secrets: How to Go Device Free For a Day

014 - Digital Detox Success Secrets

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Let me introduce you to a digital detox.

This is a time machine technique, as I call it, and it’s something that I’ve been using for years. Here’s what it allows you to do:

  • Gives you time to read and reflect and rest and recover, all while focusing on family, fun, your faith, fitness, and whatever else is missing from your life.
  • It’s going to lower your blood pressure, increase your focus, decrease your stress, and, ironically, create more and lasting positive memories.
  • It’ll even improve your attention span and help you eliminate pain from overuse injuries.

That’s right. We suffer from overuse injuries from using our phones too much.

Today I’m going to teach you how to go on a device-free day.

Now, here’s what I mean by device-free. I mean absolutely no phones, no laptops, no televisions, no screens, no computers of any kind. You’re going to go old school and for good reason. Let’s talk about why.

A study from the University of Nottingham in England found that the average person picks up their phone 85 times a day.

If you think about that, in a 12-hour waking and working stint, that means checking your phone seven times an hour. The study also found that people spent up to five hours scrolling through apps and websites and most of that time is totally wasted.

According to my own personal research, if you check your phone 10 times or more each workday, you qualify as digitally distracted. This digital addiction is costing you an estimated 15 minutes every time you check your phone, adding up to at least 3.5 hours of wasted time every day.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it actually includes internet addiction as a disorder.

If you feel like you’re the verge of a technology addiction the solution is that digital detox because it’s going to cleanse your internet addiction by removing phone porn from your life.

The University of McMaster found that people who used the internet excessively tend to suffer from greater anxiety and depression. If you know my history with anxiety, you won’t be surprised to hear that this fact worried me. So, I created a device-free day, which others now refer to as the digital detox movement.

When you go device-free in this digital detox day, you’re going to:

  • Clear your mind for thinking
  • Have more time and freedom for fun
  • Release the pressure of society
  • Reset your body and mind so that you can simply be present in the moment

So, who needs to do this? … Everyone suffering from too much technological connectivity.

What you’re going to do is what’s called a full day device-free session.

Unplugging can help you realize your true potential… Find out how, here.
  • Why do you need to do this? Because you need to break that technology addiction. There’s an Australian doctor named Dr. Michael Davie and he believes that internet addiction can destroy your life, just like any other addiction.
  • Where are you going to do this? Well, the best way to do this is going to be at home. It’s not something to do at work, obviously, and probably not when you’re on a travel day going through an airport and you might need to reach your family. The next time you have a full day off, maybe a Saturday or a Sunday is when I do them, I want you to step into the digital detox time machine.
  • How do we do this? It all starts with planning. When you start the planning process, you realize the ubiquity of devices in our lives.

Think about this: If you are someone who uses an iPhone to its full capacity, you are going to have that iPhone controlling your music, your communication methods, all of your information, your transportation, like using Uber, your money, your motivation. It simply is your crutch in life. When you’re standing in an elevator, you go to your phone. When you’re standing, waiting for your Uber, you go to your phone. When you’re doing anything and you have a break, you go to your phone.

Here are some of the questions that you’re probably thinking and using as objections and excuses for as why you can’t do this.

  1. How will others contact you?
  2. What if there’s an emergency?
  3. How will you entertain yourself?

If you do not plan ahead, if you’re not thinking things through, if you just think, “Oh, I’m just going to wake up and not use my phone tomorrow,” you’re going to find yourself reaching for that phone. It’s like a phantom limb. You’re going to find yourself reaching in your pockets. You have got to be prepared.

When you check something 85 times, do you not think that that is neurologically wired into your habits? It is.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Overcome temptations of boredom
  • Overcome the habit of how many times you just reach for your phone as instinct
  • Overcome the temptations to communicate with friends

One other thing you have to plan and prepare for is anxiety.

  • You’re going to think, “Oh my goodness. If I don’t check my email twice today, there’s going to be 50 emails when I show up tomorrow.” But, you have to be mentally prepared to be okay with that. 
  • You also have to communicate with people, especially your family, people who will contact you in an emergency, to give them another way of getting a hold of you. 
  • If you do a lot of reading and planning and thinking, you’re going to be tempted to write down notes or to look up other books and do all these things. Trust me, you can actually get overwhelmed from all of the information you gather on a digital detox day.

This actually happened to me. The first time I did a digital detox day, I wanted to read a bunch of books. I started taking all these notes. Actually, I had five pages of notes. I know. I went a little overboard. Therefore, I had to adjust my plan the next time. I had to think ahead.

If we go back to my book, The Perfect Day Formula, which you can read in actual book form and not just online, we get the five pillars of success and transformation.

  • Planning and Preparation
  • Professional Accountability
  • Positive social support
  • A meaningful incentive
  • The BIG deadline.

Here’s the result that you’re going to get out of all of this

  • You’re going to build new boundaries
  • You’re going to build habits where you check less, where you cut back on social media
  • You are going to build up strength to do it more often and for longer periods of time
  • You’re going to sleep better because you won’t have electronics giving you an increased level of arousal and alertness that keeps you tossing and turning in bed
  • You’re going to feel recharged

One reader of my book, The Perfect Day Formula, sent me an amazing message:

“Our family goes device-free at 8 o’clock every night. Everybody turns their phones off for the rest of the night. That’s it. 8 o’clock.”

 Isn’t that amazing?

Different Versions of the Digital Detox

Don’t feel like you have to start with a full day right off the bat because I wouldn’t recommend a non-runner go out and run a marathon on their first training session.

Option One: It might be best to start with a three to six-hour block on a Saturday or Sunday. Then you try 12 hours next Saturday. Then try that full digital detox in the third or fourth week. That’s how you would work up to doing a device-free.

Option Two: If you just want to do a shorter block in the morning, you have to have a really strong routine in place. This will open up time for thinking and meditation. If you have that 15 minutes of focus that is really powerful. I wrote a book in 15 minutes a day. Over time, it adds up. It’s amazing what you can do in a short amount of time, device-free.

Option Three: You can also do an intra-day block. What that means is for a block of time, you’re going device-free during the day. Now, this is really going to require you to communicate properly and to set expectations with others, that you will be unavailable.

In the evening you need the reverse alarm approach to having a digital detox

If you want to go to bed at 11 o’clock, set an alarm for 10 o’clock or, even better, at 9 o’clock at night. When that alarm hits, you turn off all technology.

Now you have time to:

  • Spend with your spouse and/or your children
  • Focus on your hobbies
  • Work on your health
  • Catch up on your reading
  • Prepare for the next day
  • Finishing doing your to-do list

You are going to have a great sleep when you have a digital detox at night.

In 20 years from now, you’re not going to sit back and think, “Dang, I really wish I’d spent more time on Facebook.” Instead, you’re going to wish that you had spent more time in the real world, doing real things, with real people, creating real memories.

If you want to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, take back control of your time from technology. Do a digital detox, unplug from electronics, and spend some time in clear, uninterrupted, empire building thinking. Or, just be fully present with your family. This is how you get ahead and create the life that you really, really want.

I’d love to hear about your digital detox device-free routines for success and your ruthless no electronics rituals. Please send your success stories about your digital detox device-free day to support@earlyrise.com or to me on Instagram or Twitter.

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