5 tips to break-up with technology and become more present in your life

Truth be told, I dropped my Apple Watch facedown on my bathroom floor… turns out, tile is not forgiving. But, I had been considering “breaking up” with my watch a long period before this occurred and took the smashed glass as the push I needed.

Okay, I don’t really mean break-up with technology entirely… but I have taken a few steps in the last 6 months that I recommend to anyone who is hoping to be more present in their life. For me, I noticed that my technology (and the constant notifications) frequently interrupted my time with Enzo, made me feel like I had to constantly be available to everyone else (which made it difficult to feel grounded and present in the moment), and kept my attention always divided and therefore rarely focused (which meant less productivity overall)… so I made a change.

My top 5 tips to reduce your technology usage and become more present in your life:

1. Silence ALL notifications on your phone.

When I get a text message or a phone call, my phone simply lights up… there’s no sound nor vibration. While I generally am not away from my phone for more than an hour (and most frequently I’m at least in the same room as my phone), the fact that there’s no sound nor feeling — the vibration — to interrupt me when I’m getting a task done or playing with Enzo, helps me to be far more present and efficient.

2. Get rid of your smart watch.

While I loved my Apple Watch for many reasons, not wearing it has been so helpful in keeping me present (including just when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone in person because I’m not glancing at my wrist) but also has made it so other people in my life don’t expect instant responses which has been great for boundary setting.

3. Turn off social media and email notifications.

Now, some people may not be able to turn off email notifications due to work, but most people don’t need to get notified the second they receive a message/comment/like/photo on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. Admittedly, I still check my social media more frequently than I would like, but not getting the notifications definitely helps me distance myself from always being prompted to check the notifications.

4. Set “house rules” for electronic device usage in the evening.

You can set “house rules” even if you live alone, but especially if you live with a partner/kids, set some guidelines around being on phones and other devices from dinner through the rest of the evening. The point here is obviously to be present with ourselves and those around us and for most people, the evening would be the time that could be accomplished.

5. Do not scroll yourself to sleep.

While I always check social media before I go to sleep, I make a conscious effort for social media to not be the last thing my brain is digesting before I snooze. What do I busy my mind with instead? I close my eyes, do some intentional deep breathing, say 5 things I’m grateful for, think through the day and mindfully release anything that wasn’t so great from the day — impatience for instance — and lastly, I affirm whatever I feel like affirming for that day (a frequent repeat affirmation is my family’s health and safety.)

Adapt any or all of these tips to your life and I imagine you’ll feel far more present with yourself and those around you, and you’ll likely feel far more efficient when accomplishing tasks!

Do you have any technology tips you use to make sure you’re not distracted from your life?

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