We live in a world where we’re constantly connected. Our devices beg for our attention right around the clock, and we often give in as we unknowingly sacrifice hours and hours of precious time we could instead use to grow ourselves, experience life, and learn new things.
In the summer, every living thing has the opportunity to reach its fullest potential. But if we’re spending so much time browsing, texting, liking, commenting, posting, and doing all the other things we feel compelled to do on a daily basis from our devices, how will we ever be able to look back on the summer and feel satisfied with how we decided to spend it?
We’re not implying that everyone should throw away their smartphones and tablets unil the end of September. That would be unrealistic. We are, however, suggesting that a good balance should be prioritized if we don’t want the summer to slip away.
Here are seven practical ways to unplug more often without feeling totally disconnected.
Disable Most Notifications
Do you really need to know who just started a live video on Instagram? Or what weather warning just popped up for a location you’re not currently in? Disabling all non-urgent notifications will save you from get sucked into the distraction of constantly picking up your device to see what’s going on.
Post Your Summer Photos to Social Media in Bulk
It may be a lot of fun to share photos and videos and status update of all your summer adventures, but your friends aren’t necessarily going to care if you post everything at the end of the day or week rather than constantly post as you experience every single thing worth documenting and sharing. In fact, they might be thankful for it!
Set a Daily Alarm to Disconnect
Reclaim your evenings and days off by setting alarms on your phone to go off at a certain time of the day as a way to remind yourself to unplug for at least an hour. When that alarm goes off, put your device on silent, enable airplane mode, or turn it right off.
Trade Screen Time for a Fun Summer Activity
We all have daily habits that involve using our devices. Whether yours involves plopping down on the couch to watch Netflix after work or endlessly browsing your smartphone before bed, you have the opportunity to replace that bad habit with something that would benefit you much more than that. Look for a sunset yoga class offered by a studio in your area, try meditating in your backyard, go for an evening walk, or do anything that gets you outside while the weather is warm and the days are longer.
Practice Mindfulness While Connected
When you do find yourself picking up your device for whatever reason, stay mindful of how you go about using it. If you picked it up to just check your email for a minute and nothing else, keep that in mind the whole time. This will prevent you from opening the door to mindlessly wasting time by engaging in other activities on your device.
It’s tempting to use our devices constantly, but giving in is never worth missing out on what really matters—real life experiences. So practice putting your device down more often, forgive yourself when you get carried away, and always remember that you have the freedom to choose how you want to spend this very moment!