Every once in a while, I slipped into the world full of distractions, named the Internet. Like everyone does, I take hours viewing Youtube videos, scroll through Facebook posts, reading Tweets, and so on. All of them are neatly optimized that you'll keep checking them out, again and again.
I stumbled upon this idea by Andrew Kirby's Dopamine Detox (Yeah, on his Youtube). The rule sounds easy but really hard to do. That is, don't do anything that gives you Dopamine. Which in the extreme level, includes eating as well. I tried it once and it works like a charm. But I have to admit that it is difficult since I still have to eat, feed dogs, write blogs. So I make a subset of Dopamine Detox. It's called Digital Detox.
The rule is more simple, of course. Just don't touch or use anything which distracts you digitally. I tried to do it twice a month, in the weekends.
My detoxification day
Before the day, I would prepare myself to reduce external factors and temptation to use my smartphone or computer.
- Prepare a book to read, e-book reader is OK but make sure you have the book file and disable the network afterward.
- Disable or mute all app notifications. I made an exception for the alarm clock app though.
- Tell your friends or family that you'll be unavailable for a day.
Then on the day after I put of the alarm. I leave my phone there and continue the day without it. Read the book you want to, write articles (I have a disconnected Macbook Air for this), meditate, play with my dogs, do chores.
The Digital Detox helps me getting back on track. Sometimes I spent many hours a day watching Youtube and getting less sleep, and it affected the other day. Furthermore, it helps me focus more on doing things. I can read more than my other days as I tend to stop after a few pages. Lastly, I can feel the Dopamine rush when I can finally check the unread messages in the end of the day.