10 Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

by - February 12, 2022

 I think you'll agree that technology is an amazing tool! You wouldn't be reading this post right now, without technology. The fact that you can read this post from wherever you are in the world is pretty amazing. I think the tips in this post are pretty good too! 😂 All jokes aside, technology does have its downsides, and it can be very very very (Okay, all that repetition probably wasn't necessary) time-consuming... which is why today, I am going to share with you ways to unplug from tech.

10 Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

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Technology makes your life so much easier, but sometimes, you spend more time on technology than it is worth. Sometimes, tech takes away from other more enjoyable activities that you could be doing. Why does this happen?

Technology is an instant reward that takes no effort. Would you like to do that craft project you've been holding onto for some time? Of course, but you would have to go and find it, and then you would have to get some other supplies before you could finally start making it.

Instead, you can just pull out your phone, and get an instant reward by watching one YouTube video, which quickly turns into ten. Point taken. Technology is good when used in moderation. I've talked about technology before, and how you can be more productive online. (You can find those articles below.)

Today, we are going to look at this problem from the opposite side, and figure out how you can use less technology!

Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

1. Track Your Time Online

I like to take a scientific approach to improve my productivity so I knew I needed a baseline. Before you can improve, you need to know where you are so you can see if you are actually getting results. This is why scientific studies often have a control group.

Preparing for this article around two months ago, I started by creating a few different time tracking layouts in my bullet journal to see how much time I spend online.

I am not going to sugarcoat the facts. I spend a lot of time using tech because I have to use my laptop for school, and I use my laptop for work (AKA this blog), and I frequently use technology for exercise as well. Then, if I add in a few hours for miscellaneous activities, the hours add up super fast.

Tracking your time online can be really easy. You don't have to make it complicated by figuring out how much time you spend online for work, social media, etc separately. I just like to look at the amount of time as a whole, and I think that is the most helpful way to do it.

The easiest way to track your time online is to start a stopwatch every time you go online. Starting a timer every time you go online will definitely keep you accountable. For your phone, there are many free apps you can use that will keep track of your phone usage. I might try one of these apps myself in the future. Currently, I don't use my phone very much so I have no need for one.

Personally, I like to use a timer on my smartwatch (Yes, technically, this is technology. I just don't count it into my tech usage because I wear my smartwatch almost 24/7. More on this later).

10 Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

2. Use Time-Blocking

So what did I do? I started utilizing time-blocking for my internet usage.

If you work in a traditional workspace for eight hours, then you know that you are going to be online for most of those eight hours. If you use a TV for fitness videos an hour a day, then that will be roughly nine hours. Let's say those are your main uses for technology, and everything over that is miscellaneous activities... and possibly time wasted.

As you can see in my bullet journal layouts, every time I do an activity online, I fill in how much time was consumed on the layout. I can see at a glance how much time I spent online each day.

This is my main method for spending less time online. Figure out how much time you need for certain activities you do online, and then list them down.

For example, I know that I work out 18-19 hours a week. For the majority of those hours, I will be using technology. That's around two hours every day. On top of that, I give myself two hours to work on this business every day. Other than that, I have school and miscellaneous activities that need to be done online.

I have a two-hour timer on my smartwatch for my business, and when the time is up, I am done working on my business for the day, unless there is an emergency. If you work from home, this is one way to manage your work/life balance. The timer I use can be paused and I can come back to it at any time during the day so I can break up my work into chunks.

3. Break Up Your Technology Usage

The Pomodoro Technique is a wonderful tool for time-blocking. Sometimes, it's not about spending less time online, it's just about not staring at a screen for extended periods of time. This is where the Pomodoro Technique comes in.

The Pomodoro technique has two main parts.

  1. 25 minutes of work
  2. 5 minutes of rest

For the fourth rest break, you do 20 minutes of rest, instead of just 5. If you find yourself being sedentary for long periods of time, then this can be a great way to get moving during the day, and it will give your brain a break!

If you don't like doing exercise, then just get yourself walking during those 5-minute breaks, and you might not have to do any planned exercise! Pretty good deal, am I right?

Are there any activities that the Pomorodo Technique is not useful for?

Well yes, but it is just my opinion. I think the Pomodoro Technique is not useful for when you want to get into "the zone". For writing, it takes a few minutes to get good ideas coming, and then once I've started writing, I want to get all of my ideas down on paper.

If I have to keep taking breaks, then it is simply a disruption to my writing and it is not helpful. Keep this in mind, whenever you use the Pomodoro Technique. It should be used to take breaks, but it should not be a disruption. I'm planning on writing a whole post on the Pomodoro Technique, so make sure you stay tuned for that!

Another way to break up your technology usage is to do one thing online, and then one thing offline until your to-do list is complete.

10 Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

4. Set Yourself a Realistic Goal for Technology Use

My minimum amount of time online every day is roughly four hours because I spend two hours on my business and two hours using my phone or TV for exercise. I would not want to set the goal of only using tech an hour a day because it would be impossible!

I want to listen to music or a podcast when I run, and if that is not happening, then I will be much less likely to go for a run.

This is why you need to have a baseline of how much tech you use so you don't set an unrealistic goal!

5. Don't Carry Your Phone Around With You

I am about to shock you. I don't usually carry my phone around with me. I've only put my phone in my pants pocket (maybe because my phone rarely fits) a couple of times. 😂

I only bring my phone somewhere if I know I am going to use it, or if there might be an emergency where no other devices are available. I certainly don't carry my phone around with me when I am in my house.

Now, with that being said, I do wear a smartwatch almost 24/7. You knew there was going to be a catch, didn't you?

Before you start thinking "Oh well, she wears a phone on her wrist so she doesn't need to carry her phone around", hear me out. I get notifications to my wrist, but I do not actually have the internet on my smartwatch.

Yes, I can see notifications from apps that I have notifications set up on my watch, and I can read and respond, but I cannot become distracted by the notifications because I can't start scrolling on some app, or click to a different app, and waste time. If they do become distracting, I can just turn notifications off.

I am notified, but not overloaded with information, ads, videos, and social media 24/7. Before I had a smartwatch, I didn't carry my phone around with me either. Maybe a little inconvenient, but it is extremely freeing. You don't want to be that person who becomes insecure when they don't have their phone!

Oh, and try turning off all your technology every night at a certain time too!

6. Choose Non-Technology Options When Possible

Technology makes life so convenient, but when you spend a ton of time using technology it can take away from your life so let's step back a little.

Instead of reading an e-book, listen to a podcast so you can do something else at the same time, or better yet, pick up a real book. I love reading real books!

Instead of texting a friend, why not call them or video chat? And let's not forget about dropping tech entirely and visiting them in person!

10 Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

7. Make Distracting Apps or Websites Harder to Access

So tough, I know! Delete an app from your phone if it is very distracting. Then you actually have to search for the website every time you want to use it. Alternatively, you can log out so you have to sign back in every time.

Making the website harder to access will definitely make you less likely to use it because another activity will be more enjoyable and easier to access.

Also, it is a smart idea to put your phone on "do not disturb" as much as possible. If you can bear it, just turn your phone off. I haven't turned my phone on yet today, and it is 2:28 PM. I'm not going to turn my phone on until I actually need it.

8. Have Plans

What is more enjoyable? Practicing that instrument or painting that painting you've been wanting to do for like forever, or scrolling on social media for over an hour? This is your life, so live it!

Now, I'm not saying you need to have every. single. day. of your life planned down to the minute, but I do think that you should have set activities that you like to do that require a minimal amount of technology usage.

Make these activities extremely easy to do. Even easier than clicking over to social media if you can.

9. Schedule Your Tech Usage

Consider scheduling your tech usage. Maybe, you only check your emails twice every day at specific times. Maybe you only check social media for fifteen minutes while you are eating.

Figure out what works for you, and don't be afraid to try things that are out of the ordinary. I wouldn't recommend scheduling your tech usage for during dinner though! 😂

10. Have a No-Tech Day + a Splurge Day

Finally, try to have a no-tech day. I use to do this for an entire day each week, and it can open up so much of your day. You don't realize how much time technology takes up until you give it up.

You don't have to go no-tech all the way because going cold turkey is hard, but you can try to use technology less for one day of the week, every week.

You'll be surprised at how much time you'll have to do fun stuff!

On the flip side, you can also have a splurge day, where you catch up on everything. For example, you could only watch YouTube videos on one day where you catch up on all of your favorite YouTubers. You don't get to look at YouTube any other day of the week!

Notice how your splurge day makes you feel about technology. The purpose of your splurge day is to make you bored of your favorite apps and sites. It's worked for me!

Consider having these days right next to each other because, after your splurge day, you'll probably feel bored of your favorite sites for a day or two so it will be easier to use tech less the day after.

10 Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

There you have it! 10 ways you start taking control of your tech usage. Let technology make your life easier, but don't let it control your life.

As always, don't forget to check out my shop Productive Pixie Co for planning and personal development tools to improve your life!

If you liked this post, you may want to read these ones too!

Thank you for reading this article! I really appreciate that you took some time out of your day to read it. :)
Remember to save this post so you can implement more ways to unplug from tech!

10 Easy + Efficient Ways to Unplug From Tech

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