Recently I posted a blog about how I’d been busted. Turns out, I had not had a digital detox to reduce burnout in over three years.
My husband called me on it. And he was (gulp!) correct.
So I set my intention and went for 10 days without cellphone, email, social media. You name it. I ignored it.
At first, it was a struggle. I’ve had this problem for awhile.
There’s even a name for what happens when you choose your social media and cellphone over your partner, family and friends: phubbing. It’s short for “partner phone snubbing.” Has this happened to you? In a recent Baylor study, they found that over 46 percent of respondents were phubbed by their partner. And this led to over 22 percent saying this caused relationship conflict.
So it’s not just you and your problem. It can build a rock of resentment between you and your partner.
And here’s what you need to know: When I returned from my 10 days away from not just work, but all digital input, I felt lighter. Happier. Rejuvenated. In a way that no amount of green drinks or meditation could provide. And the link between me and hubby? Stronger than those social network links. Trust me.
Here’s my secret method that I’m sharing with you now to do your own Digital Detox. I call it The 4 D’s:
1) DECIDE. Nothing happens without the decision. If you don’t think you have a problem, then ask your family, your friends. It was my husband who made me acutely aware of the fact that I had not been offline for 3 years! Even when we were on vacation!
Just like when you decide to start adding exercise into your weekly routine or decide to squeeze ten minutes of meditation into each day. . . nothing happens until you truly decide.
Am I right? So decide now that you are going to do this.
2) DESIGNATE. Appoint someone (or a couple someones) to be “in charge” while you are offline.
For me, I have an awesome assistant, Mazzy, who was willing to have things scheduled and arranged in advance, like making sure my blog post went up when it was supposed to, so there wouldn’t be a gap I’d regret later.
You could hire a niece or nephew (which is what I used to do before my niece got busy with her high school commitments and got her driver’s license!) or you could load up your social media posts to go live while you are gone with tools like HootSuite.
3) DELEGATE. Next, you have to ease your mind with a contingency plan for those true emergencies. The family kind. What worked for me is selecting a member of each side of our family, as well as a trusted neighbor, to be the contact person. To that very short list, I emailed our trip details: flight info, hotel names and phone numbers. Then I let everyone know that those folks were the ones who had the details to contact us, in case of a true emergency.
Luckily, there were no emergencies. And after we returned, I discovered that some “semi- emergencies” had occurred, but they were more like “Urgent Care.”
In our doctor world, I always distinguish between true emergencies, as in “Are they in the ICU?” or minor ones like, “They were seen at Urgent Care and released.”
4) DELIVER. It does absolutely no good to plan out everything and then renege on your plan. It shows lack of trust in your team that was assigned to post your blogs or tweets. And it shows real lack of faith in your designated family members.
Picture if you were having a pot luck dinner party. And you asked your sister to bring dessert. And then you made dessert, just “in case” your sister forgot or brought a yukky dessert. Imagine how she would feel.
Deliver on your promise to let go. Deliver on your promise to yourself and to your family.
Why is this so important?
Connection can happen on so many levels. It lets your mind and your heart free to be reminded of the important things in life… like your family and your own inner peace.
What’s your best tip for detoxing? Please share in the comments below.