Career and Workplace

Benefits Of Switching Off

It’s not lost on us how ironic it is that you’re reading an article about detaching from devices… on a device.

Whether for work or for play, we are all objectively spending far too much of our day staring at screens of one size or another. It’s not your fault – most jobs require face-time with a screen, but given the choice, we still gravitate towards a device even in our free time. 

Here are some reasons why you should consider putting down your device more often.

1. You’ll Sleep Better

Back in the day (way back!) when people used the sun as the only indicator of when to rise and when to rest, we were able to maintain healthy circadian rhythms, allowing our bodies and minds to rest and recover. In fairness, there wasn’t much to do when the sun went down and visibility was minimal. 

Today, the bright glare of screens is tricking our bodies into thinking that the day is not over and we’re dedicating less and less time to rest, putting out health and wellbeing at risk.  

Sure, there are blue light filtering glasses and “night mode” on most phones now, but the best way to get a good rest is to put down your devices as the day draws to a close and allow your body the natural wind-down process for better sleep. 

2. You’ll Have Better In-Person Conversations

If the less-than-subtle glance at a phone in the middle of a conversation bothers you when someone else does it, you’re not alone. Even the quickest look mid-chat is enough to make you question whether you’re being taken seriously or if you’re an engaging conversationalist. 

To practice active listening skills and to communicate interest in another person, put your devices away while you speak to someone else. It’s far more acceptable to call for a pause to check your device than to distract from the conversation by sneaking looks.

3. You’ll Reduce Anxiety (Eventually)

Most of us have made a habit of checking our devices for new emails, messages, and notifications even when there are no audible signs that anything has changed. The compulsion to refresh is real. 

Compulsions are ritualised, repetitive behaviours you feel compelled to perform, and you’ll recognise this as a problem when they’re irrational, ie. You checked your phone 1 minute ago, why would anything have changed in such a short time? But you just can’t help it.

Not checking, however, causes anxiety.

By making an effort to mute your notifications and scheduling dedicated times to check in on updates, you’ll be doing yourself a favour and nixing this bad habit, reducing your anxiety over time. 

4. You’ll Boost Your Productivity

When was the last time you concentrated on a single task, allowing yourself to be completely immersed in an experience until it felt like you were in a flow state?

Most of us may wish to induce this flow state while working on a device, so the advice holds true - don’t allow other devices to distract you from the task at hand. That means watch that movie without your phone, write those emails without the TV on, finish that report without checking your phone notifications. Multitasking is out. The constant flipping back and forth between tasks is distracting, exhausting and counterproductive. Now, make an effort to zero-in on a single task until it’s done and watch your productivity soar. 

5. Food Will Taste Better

If you’re the type of person whose phone is constantly at the table during meal times just in case a message comes in, or you like to dig in while the TV is on, there’s a good chance you’re not fully in tune with the sensation of eating. And if you’re distracted as you eat, your sense of taste and smell are compromised, resulting in a far less exciting meal. The next time you sit down to eat, take a second to appreciate all the senses – how the food looks on your plate, how it is served, what it smells like, its temperature, texture and consistency. Try to identify flavours in each bite and consider how the food you’re eating is nourishing your entire body. 

6. You’ll Control Your Weight Better

You probably heard about mindful eating – that is, focusing on your meal and the sensation of eating during meal times. Studies have shown that we’re less likely to overeat and more likely to feel satisfied after eating if we don’t succumb to distractions and multi-tasking while we chow down. The idea is to remain present and aware of the signs of your body telling you when you’ve had enough so you don’t overeat.

7. You’ll Model Better Behaviour For Your Kids.

If you’ve given your kids a tough time about how long they spend on their devices, chances are you need to do some self-reflection. 

Are you modelling the kind of behaviour you want them to emulate? Children are more likely to do as you do, not as you say, so if they’re finding it hard to part with that tablet, assess how you might be setting an example. Device-free family time is the best way to engage and create memories. 

For more information about how to kick bad habits or build new ones, consider your intrinsic motivations, and if you need support, reach out to Naluri. 

 

Written by:
Naluri Team
Published:
10 March 2022