Boosting Productivity and Reducing Stress: Digital Detoxing

Boosting Productivity and Reducing Stress: Digital Detoxing

I recently took a full year digital detox and saw a huge positive impact. If that sounds appealing but unrealistic for you read on. Thankfully you don't need to go that extreme, or even close to that to see real benefits.

In today's digital age, it's easy to feel like we're always connected and always "on." However, a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology suggests that even a short break from technology can have a big impact on our productivity and well-being. I dug in deeper and liked what I read.

'Disconnecting occasionally from the constant stimulation of the digital world makes it much easier for us to find calm'

In the study, participants were instructed to take an 18-minute break from email each day. Just email! The results were surprising: not only did participants report feeling less stressed and more focused, but their productivity actually increased.

Key benefits of taking a short digital detox:

  1. Improved productivity: Constantly checking email and social media can be a major distraction, interrupting our workflow and making it harder to focus on important tasks. Taking an 18-minute break from technology each day can help you regain your focus and increase your productivity.
  2. Reduced stress: Studies have shown that digital overload can lead to increased stress and burnout. By taking a short break from technology daily, you give your brain a chance to recharge and reduce your overall stress levels.
  3. Improved well-being: Being constantly connected to technology can have negative effects on our mental health and well-being. Taking a break can help you feel more relaxed and present in the moment.
  4. Better work-life balance: 18 minutes isn't very long but it can definitely be the start of setting healthier, clearer boundaries between work and personal life, that you can build on over time.

What does an 18-minute digital detox each day look like?

Here are some ideas:

  • Double the positive impact and use this time to write in a gratitude journal.
  • Put your phone on "Do Not Disturb" mode during most of your lunch break.
  • Go for a walk outside without your phone or do some stretching exercises to clear your mind.
  • Use this time to get to know colleagues, have a real conversation and deepen your social connections. Phone a friend or family member if you work alone.

While an 18-minute digital detox may seem like a small thing, it can have a big impact on your productivity, stress levels, and overall well-being. May is Mental Health Awareness Month so, why not give it a try? Or make it a group challenge and get your whole office to try it for a week!

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