Step Away from the Screen!

Vienna on May 5, 2014


If every trend has its anti-trend it should come to no surprise that with the digital flood, that has taken over our world by storm, “work-life balance” has become an increasingly important buzzword. While today’s “there’s an app for any and everything”-attitude has enabled us to save time and simplify work processes on the one hand, the sad reality is, we too often spend the time saved on additional on-screen activities. Whether you are an openly admitting screen addict or not, here are some tips for some de-digitizing techniques we can all benefit from:

  1.  Include more screen-free zones into your life
It is no coincidence that yoga and meditation classes are booming in today’s society. We need regularly scheduled dedicated down-times more than ever! If you are not the spiritual type at all, maybe try out a different sport or take on a new (screen-free!) hobby, e.g. crafts and painting and commit to switching off your phone and other devices while practicing it.

2.  Pay attention to the people in front of you
We get it. We are all incredibly busy these days. But when you finally find the time to meet up with nice people over some good food at a restaurant (or even more so at somebody else’s home!) why would you not want to enjoy this experience to the fullest? Wouldn’t we all prefer for our lunch/dinner partners to not look at their phones while we are talking? And we only do it because they do it to us, too? You might have heard of “phone stacking”, which takes care of that dilemma. How it works: everyone at the table has to put their phone away on a stack and if somebody reaches for their phone before the end of the meal, they have to pay for everyone else’s food.

3.  Log and analyze your time spent online
RescueTime” is a web tool that lets you track and analyze your online activities so you can identify time-wasters and evaluate your time management more effectively. You can even set time limits and alerts to keep you from binge-surfing on distracting websites.

4.  Get organized
Even if you are not a self-proclaimed digital junkie, chances are, if you have an office job you are dealing with a serious amount of emails on an everyday basis. The company OtherInbox offers a variety of smart tools to keep your inbox organized, decrease spam, and easily identify high-priority items.

5.  Leave your phone at home
Unless you are risking losing your job or getting lost and stranded somewhere all by yourself, why not give both you and your phone (or tablet) a break from each other and simply leave the house to do something fun without it for a change? To many people this may seem like a totally strange and pointless idea, but once you get over the initial “I left my right arm at home”-feeling, you might be surprised at how relaxing and inspiring it can be to spend a screen-free day.

Last but not least, we would like to leave you with some food for thought on this topic in form of this video that has recently gone viral: