Experiments with digital detox

This whole idea triggered from the blog post from Ishani about Digital Detox. Especially I liked the Ted talk What I Learned from 10 Years of Digital Detox. I can’t believe someone could do this for 10 years and immediately got hooked by the concept. I’m not new to this and have tried to implement this many a times in the past. But had to let go because of multiple reasons. There was always work, a critical server downtime issue, anxiety of being away from phone/computer, FOMO and many other things. I also did’t know about the App Limits and Downtime feature in iOS. Looks like you need the right help from technology to stay away from technology.

This is the settings for my downtime. I’ve done this twice in a row and truth be told, have been throughly enjoying it so far.

The first week I slept most of the day (14 hours straight) and didn’t feel like I got a lot from the day. Once you wake up at 2 PM, it feels like most of the day is already gone. Just watched a movie with Vasudha (at home of course) in the late evening and that ended the downtime. Thankfully, my calendar had a few interviews setup before I decided to do the detox. Taking a few interviews reduced the anxiety of being away from computer for so long. In short, this was a good balanced detox with some “cheats” embedded in it.

The second week, I certainly didn’t want to spend the whole day just sleeping. Woke up early. Also, I never had any interviews for that day. So this is my first full day detox. The two major things I focused on was cleaning my place and spending quality time with Vasudha. As expected, spending quality time without electronic devices is calming. We played the usual Sequence game, went for a walk + shopping and watched a nice movie.

I tried reading from a physical book, but couldn’t continue after 15 minutes. I have to do something to increase my attention span with physical books. I think I’ve lost the ability to focus on books since my college days. Of course, post 10:00 PM, I was getting more and more restless. I think there is always going to be anxiety when it is close the end of the downtime.

I plan to do this regularly with a twist. Instead of doing a full day downtime, I plan to have 1 (or at max 2) breaks in between for 45 mins. I think it will reduce my anxiety about missing out something important. Overall, a new experience and something I guess everyone should do once in a while.

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