New disorders have been named to accommodate the growing number of people addicted to specific technologies; World of Warcraft and other video games, Facebook, Smartphones at dinner, Candy Crush and more. Does anyone remember the craze of the most addictive Facebook game of all, Farmville? Most Americans can say that they would like to be less attached to their technology. Screen time is known to cause sleep disturbances, and with work becoming more mobile, it becomes more and more invasive of our personal time. You can set limits, and a priming tech cleanse could be just what the doctor ordered to start living in the real world and online with balance. Follow the suggestions below for a successful tech cleanup.

outline your cleaning

Without a plan, you plan to fail. Tech cleanses are probably one of the hardest cleanses to endure because it’s not a physical challenge, but a mental one. Decide how long you will cleanse for (usually 2-3 days or a week) and plan to start 2-3 days early so you don’t stop cold turkey. Also set parameters for what technology you’ll get or when you’ll be able to use it. During this planning phase, decide what you want to spend your time on. You’ll need this chart to refer to when you feel the itch, which brings us to the next point; delay prevention.

relapse prevention

Decide why you are doing this tech cleanup and write your response. Post this card somewhere you will see it daily as a reminder, or carry it with you at all times. I suggest you take a photo with your phone so you always have it, but during a tech cleanup, you may not have that luxury. Check your “why” when you feel “the itch.”

Some last important tips before you begin are to notify anyone who needs to know that you are doing a tech cleanup. This could be people you work with or for, Facebook friends or groups you normally chat with, or people close to you who can help you during your cleanup. Also prepare for your return to technology. One of the best ways to do this is to unsubscribe from any email subscriptions that no longer interest you. Review and uninstall unnecessary apps and disable unnecessary notifications from apps you are keeping. The last suggestion in this article is to learn how to use ‘Airplane Mode’, which disables your phone’s ability to send or receive text messages, calls, or notifications. This mode can also sometimes be called flight mode, stand-alone mode, or offline mode and can be used in various situations. You can enable airplane mode when you don’t want to be disturbed, when you’re going to important meetings, to charge your battery faster, or to reserve the battery life you already have.

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