All over the internet, people are writing about how they’re “unplugging,” or taking time away from technology. We sleep with our smartphones next to our beds, our tablets go with us on vacation, and losing a WiFi signal can seem like the end of the world. We’re connected at all times. The constant need to reply to that email or keep your Twitter followers entertained is exhausting and can take a toll on your health. So, people are logging out, signing off, and putting their phones down. Here are some simple steps for unplugging your life throughout the day.

1. No screens at the dinner table

Whether you’re eating with the family or eating alone, don’t bring your phone to the table. You’ll be more likely to enjoy and appreciate the food you’re eating when you’re not worried about which Instagram filter to use. Take this opportunity to catch up with your family or collect your thoughts over some comfort food.

2. Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock

If you use your phone as an alarm, it’s going to be the first thing you look at in the morning. Once you’ve turned off your alarm (maybe after hitting snooze a couple of times?), the next natural step is to check your email or text messages. Don’t do it. Besides, no one wants to talk to you until you’ve had your coffee.

3. Turn off app push notifications and alerts

Whose heart doesn’t skip a beat when you get a push notification that someone played you on Words with Friends? Turning off push notifications and app alerts will help minimize distractions during the day. Check your apps when you need to take a mental break.

4. Listen to music instead of TV/movies while you work out

Give your eyes a break and let your ears do the work for awhile. Though, technically not unplugging, this can get a low tech as you want. Just popping in some ear buds and going for a run (or a power walk) can help declutter and refocus your mind.

5. Airplane Mode is your friend

Don’t let yourself be tempted by the buzz of a notification. If you don’t want to be distracted, don’t let yourself. Almost all smartphones have this setting and it’s easy to turn on and forget about your phone. Just set it down and walk away for awhile.

6. Set limits

Obviously you aren’t going to give up all technology.  But setting time limits, like no email after 7pm, may help you wind down and get away from technology for a bit. Try setting a timer when browsing your favorite blogs or Facebook timeline; once it buzzes, it’s time to log out.

7. No Gadgets before you go to bed

Research has shown that the light emitted from tablets, smartphones, and even laptops can reduce your body’s ability to produce melatonin, the chemical that makes you feel tired. By giving your eyes and brain time to relax before bed, you’ll be able to fall asleep quicker and have a better night’s sleep. Try reading a book or magazine instead.

WiFi is out
Credit: Mark Anderson

These are just a few ways to minimize the stress that technology can cause. Allowing yourself take a break every now and again lets you gain perspective and who knows, maybe this break will let you think of an awesome blog post.

What tips do you have for going off the grid? Share them in the comments below!

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About Katie Frampton

I am the Marketing Intern at SmartFile. I'm about to start my senior year at Ball State University where I'm studying Advertising and Digital Media. I attribute my love for technology and space to Star Trek. With enough Post-It Notes and Diet Coke, I can accomplish anything.

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