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7 Ways to Avoid Digital Burnout

News
03 May 2020
With the lockdown, the time we spend behind a digital screen has increased dramatically. With that increased digital exposure comes digital burnout, and it could have negative health effects.
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Now, more than ever, we find ourselves in the so-called burnout generation. With billions of people at home during global lockdowns and many of those working from home, the time we spend behind a digital screen has increased dramatically. With that increased digital exposure comes digital burnout, and it could have negative health effects.

What is digital burnout?

By spending endless hours online, and being connected at all times, our brains become overwhelmed with the constant flow of information we’re bombarded with on social media, news and video sites. Eventually, our brains become saturated and we begin to experience a few physical symptoms:

  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks
  • A loss of interest in daily activities
  • Lack of motivation to get things done
  • Heightened anxiety

 

7 Ways to Avoid Digital Burnout

 

Disconnect Once A Week

It’s important to take a break from the various digital devices in your daily life. The aim of this is to reset your brain and give it some much-needed time to slow down and rest. If possible (and you’re brave enough) you should even switch off your phone. Focus on your hobbies during this time, catch up on some reading or just relax. Try and avoid devices (including the TV) as much as possible on this day.

 

Pick Your Social Networks

While it feels like you need to be on every social platform all the time, you should sometimes try and focus just on one. Which site gives you the greatest joy or helps you achieve your goals in the best way possible? You can’t be everywhere at once, and that same rule applies to social media. Be a bit more selective about where you invest your time online.

 

Set Boundaries

Try and make your bedroom a device-free zone. While you can still keep your phone nearby, it’s important to not browse online or interact on social media when you’re in your bedroom. If this is a bit too extreme for you, you can declare a different space in your home a device-free zone.

 

One Task At A Time

We all think we’re exceptional multitaskers. But studies have shown that multitasking often slows us down more than anything else. When completing a task – whether it’s sending out that important email or finishing a report – try and switch off all other distractions. Simply putting your phone on silent is already a huge help. And if needs be, you can close all unnecessary web browser tabs and programs on your computer until you’ve completed the task at hand.

 

Clean Up and Opt Out

Put aside some time to clean up your inboxes. Unsubscribe from the newsletters you no longer need as this helps to keep the constant flood of information at a bay. Also audit your social media profiles and unfollow pages, groups and individuals that no longer add value to your daily online life.

 

Use Time Wisely

Most smart devices come equipped with wellbeing functions. These functions allow you to set time limits on the time you can spend on each app. For guidance on how to activate this feature, click on the links below:

 

Stick to Your Own Rules

It’s difficult to step away from your digital life – what if you miss something? But it’s important to define rules that work for you. Maybe it means no social media after 8PM, or no Twitter or Facebook first thing in the morning. It’s up to you to structure your digital life and the various rules around your personal needs.

Sources: Sleep Foundation | Psychopathology Journal