Now I’ve made it through the first week (the first hurdle), my mind genuinely feels clearer, more focussed, less stressed and more content. Anything I do is far more productive and the only distractions I have are real life events/ situations. I still have a slight urge to look at my phone, but it’s becoming less and less of an issue.
My notifications are now switched off so I am unaware if I receive a text, whatsapp, email or any other prompt. For me, this has been a game changer. We are increasingly finding it more of a challenge to focus due to our internal distractions and the ever-increasing external distractions. Each time you change your focus (for e.g. You’re carrying out an important piece of work and check your phone), you use a measureable amount of glucose and other metabolic resources. Studies show that each task you do tends to make you less effective at the next task, and this is especially true for high-energy tasks like self control or decision making. So distractions really take their toll. Make sure you think twice before looking at Facebook or whatsapp whilst working on an important presentation or any other high priority task that requires 100% focus.
As i’m starting to get used to and enjoy the detox I am reminded that in February it’s coming to end. However, I plan on making some serious lifestyle changes in order to apply my new findings and revelations throughout the year. I am going to be more structured in the way I use my devices and allocate time slots for usage throughout the day. Notifications will remain off, meaning I will only check my phone when I am ready to and have completed my important tasks. My phone will continue to be switched off until 07:30/8am, I will only check my email 2-3 times a day as well as allocating 10 minute time slots to social media and the news.
I will also be switching off all digital devices 90 minutes before bed as this has had profound effects on my sleep and thus my mental and physical health. It’s not just about getting 8 hours of sleep, it’s about going to bed as close to 9pm as you possibly can. This is when melatonin (sleep hormone) is released and the longer you stay up exposing yourself to blue light, the more this hormone is suppressed, having a direct effect on your sleep. You will also be missing out on a great hit of growth hormone secretion at 10pm, which is responsible for cell reproduction and cell regeneration. This hormone aids recovery, repair, helps with anti aging and gives you more of a favourable cholesterol profile. This is only one of the many hormonal processes that take place whilst you sleep so make sure you don’t miss out on any Z’s between 10pm-2am, anything else is a bonus.
I look forward to sharing some more insights into my digital detox on my next blog, but hopefully this has helped you in getting some off time.
Written by Charlie Watts