What are you looking forward to most this summer? Many of us are excited about a fun vacation out of town, weekends at the pool, or no school for a couple months. Summer is always full of exciting things, and I miss having such a long period time off when I was younger. Sometimes I envy school children who have the summer off from school with no work responsibilities yet. As an adult, summertime definitely feels different without the same amount of time off.
When summer rolls around, work and other responsibilities don't halt for adults. How can we, as adults, juggle those responsibilities and make the most of our free time during the summer? The Internet and other technology is how many of us get our entertainment or relax in our free time. For digital creators, it's especially difficult to unplug when our work or hobbies include technology because it can be hard to unplug from it after work or on vacation. Here are of my 3 tips if you want to unplug from the Internet:
1. Turn Off Notifications
This doesn't have to be done in one big sweeping motion. Which apps do you really need notifications for? Turn off notifications for a few apps and adjust as needed moving forward. Consider turning notifications off during certain times. For example, after work, maybe you can turn notifications off for your email; at night, maybe you can put your phone on not do disturb so you can focus on your nightly routine to get ready for bed. Remember: social media, work will be waiting for you whenever you're ready to focus on it.
2. Reframe Your Perspective
If you reframe the way you perceive social media, then it could help you decrease the amount of time you spend on it. Social media is definitely an amazing tool that allows us to connect with the world on our own terms. You don't have to be constantly available or posting online, even if it's for work reasons. Although it's a necessity for businesses and content creators, it's not a constant necessity. Try taking breaks from social media and reframing how it occupies your time.
3. Limit Your Tech Use
Replace the time you spend online or using certain technology with something else. Read a book, call a friend, play your favorite game, cook a nice meal, or exercise. Set a small goal and try to limit your use. If you're already using social media for 2 hours a day (120 minutes), try knocking down your screen time to 90 minutes instead. Take small, actionable steps to limit your screen time and it will make it more possible for you to achieve without burn out.
Unplugging from social media and technology can be really difficult, especially if it's part of your job or daily routine. We've become so accustomed to using it for pleasure and for work. For our own well being, it's important to find a good balance and sometimes it could mean significantly decreasing your screen time or unplugging altogether for a bit. If you're looking for inspiration, I recommend following British brand designer Abi Connick on Instagram. Recently, Abi opened up about how unplugged from social media to take back control after feeling like she was in a rut.