Which morning routine do you have?

  1. Lay in bed and take inventory of all the things in life you’re grateful for.
  2. Take 10 deep breaths.
  3. Swing your legs over the edge of the bed and take note of the feel of the floor under your feet.
  4. Spend two minutes stretching your muscles, kinks, tight spots and just feeling good. Dogs are onto something here.

OR

  1. Roll towards your night table, one eye half-open, reaching for your phone.
  2. Squint your eyes (hello, wrinkles!) from the overbearing bright light so you can see who couldn’t live without you between midnight and 6am.
  3. Speed walk to the coffee machine with barely any acknowledgement to anyone or anything along the way. Sorry, Spot.
  4. Staring at your phone, thinking, there’s an urgent email. So you sit down at your computer, coffee in hand, to formulate your answer. Another bright light.
  5. Finally you head into the bathroom and witness your bed hair firsthand. Turns out you slept on your face.

I’m guessing the majority of people are in camp #2 or at a minimum have a foot firmly planted in it on most mornings. If so, then it’s time for a technology detox!

Here’s our prescription for rescuing yourself from your phone before it’s too late.

Detach yourself from your phone

You and your phone aren’t twins separated at birth. The radio frequency your phone emits is proven to be harmful to you. Google it. There’s plenty of studies to back this up. If you don’t feel like Googling, check it out on your iPhone. It’s a little buried so here’s what you need to do…

Settings>General>About>Legal>RF Exposure
It says to keep the phone 5mm away from ALL parts of your body. That means ears, hands, bum pocket, everything.

You will need time to move past the initial separation anxiety, so try this out for brief periods of time until you build up enough tolerance to move on to the next step. Go get lunch without your phone. Walk your dog without your phone. Go grocery shopping without your phone. Consider it a trial separation to get yourself mentally prepared.

Off the grid

It’s a scary thought, I’ll admit. Start off with baby steps versus a cold turkey approach. Try two hours every afternoon or go out for an evening without any devices. Gradually work towards a larger goal like going an entire vacation without your device. You can do it! I promise you won’t suffer from cold sweats, shakes and hallucinations. A helpful tip is to let your inner circle know you’re detoxing and that you won’t be responding to phone calls or messages for a certain period of time.

ER response system

Once you’re out of your baby steps and you’ve increased your off grid time to a day or possibly a whole weekend, it’s only natural to wonder what would happen if someone needed to reach you in the event of an emergency. Family, close friends….maybe your boss. Give them secondary access to you during your cleanse. A home number versus a cell or if you’re on vacation, the front desk hotel number.

Lighten your inbox

When you’ve completed some time away from your device and are stable enough to re-engage, unsubscribe and liberate your inbox. It could use the cleanse as well.

Plan B

Every event planner knows you can’t operate without a plan B. The time will come during your cleanse when you feel the digital addiction taking over. Anxiety and stress will seep into your cells. Knowing this, have a plan of how you’re going to handle it. Go for a walk. Listen to music. Read a book. Do a yoga class. Enjoy a glass of wine with your friends. But make sure they understand your commitment to having no devices around.

Reset your mind. Be mindful and in the moment and remember that you have your ER response system in place in case of emergency.

Sage Advice

Breaking your detox isn’t the end of the world. Do your best to stay disciplined and stick to your plan. Even if you only get part way through it, you’ve still gained valuable lessons along the way. And when you try it again, you’ll do even better.

What are your tips for a digital detox?

Kimberly Rohachuk

Kimberly Rohachuk

Over my career I've had the honor of working on some major events, including the World AIDS Conference in Vancouver, G8 Foreign Ministers meeting, and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics bid delegation to Prague. I’ve also worked with a number of corporate clients all over the world delivering hundreds of events for groups ranging from 50 to 1,500 people.

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