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We’re so bombarded with digital distractions, our focus has been seriously fractured. How do we escape the screaming screens? That’s where a digital detox comes in. You don’t have to go cold turkey. But taking a break from the avalanche of information and interruptions can prove to be a real respite.

Start Small

When you wake up, consider not touching any technology for at least half an hour. Let yourself ease into your day. Slowly increase the amount of time you spend device-free each week. For some people, this is more difficult than for others. But the rewards of the relaxed state it creates make it worth it.

Disable Notifications

Turning off those annoying pop-ups is the first step in cutting down on your device usage. It’s a simple setting adjustment on most apps. And whenever you download a new one, make sure to opt out of notifications. If you can’t spend the whole afternoon without checking social media, then schedule these distractions into your day. Set aside five minutes or so at the end of an hour or when you complete a project to open those apps.

Track Your Usage

Pay attention to the digital time-sucks in your life. Social media, texts, Wikipedia, Tinder. Determine what digital distractions you can do without, and cut back.

Do Other Stuff

Engage in activities that aren’t screen related. Go on a hike. Have lunch with a (real) friend. Read a book in the bathtub. When you’re not lured away by the siren call of a screen, your life can become richer in unexpected ways.

Show technology who’s boss. Take control of these digital distractions, and see how good it feels to outsmart your smartphone.

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