For the past few months, I’ve been putting my phone face down next to me when I work. This allows me to concentrate on the project at hand without constant interruptions. When I’m ready for a break, I’ll pick up my phone and check the messages. The Internet–especially social media–are fantastic tools but they’re addicting. That addiction takes up valuable brain space, leaving us less focused on our long-term goals and projects. We replace strategy sessions with short-term garbage information. (I mean, who really cares what Lady Gaga wore when she went hiking? That won’t help you succeed in life.)

Have you come to the realization that you’re spending way too much time online?

🙋Me too. Want to find ways to unplug? Let’s tackle it together.

5 Ways to Get Your Life Back from the Internet

1) Stop your aimless browsing: You can lose countless hours every day just by browsing around, reading pointless websites, and getting lost in the Wikipedia black hole. It’s great to learn new things and read about interesting topics, but you have to admit that your time could often be better and more productively spent. If you notice that you are only browsing for the sake of browsing, then it is time to step away from the screen.

2) Be aware of how much time you’re spending online: Most people greatly underestimate the amount of time they spend online. Think you only spend a couple of hours a day on the computer? If you actually time yourself, chances are that the number will be much higher. Simply becoming aware of the amount of time you are losing online every day might be enough to shake you out of it.

3) Get rid of unimportant programs and games: If you’re not spending most of your time browsing, but rather on certain programs and games, then it may be time to think about uninstalling and getting rid of them. This is a drastic, but sometimes necessary step. Try limiting your time with them first, but if the temptation to stay logged in is just too great, then you need to be willing to take that temptation away entirely.

4) Go for a daily walk: If you commit to spending less time online, but don’t actually pick up any new activities to fill that time with, then you will just find yourself back on the computer again before long. You can fill up some of this time by committing to go for a daily walk. Doing so will help you get some fresh air and exercise, clearing your head and giving your eyes a break. I’ve heard of some folks taking “gratitude walks” where you leave your phone at home to ensure you stay in the moment and soak in all of nature’s beauty.

5) Pick up a new hobby: Just going for a daily walk likely won’t be enough to fill up all of the time that you usually spend online. You’re going to have to pick up a new hobby as well so that you don’t just hop back on the computer the second you get back home. Reading is always a great option, and so are sports, taking up a musical instrument, taking classes in interesting topics, journaling, volunteering, etc. (We highly recommend journaling, of course!)

The options are endless. They’ll become even more apparent once you take that first step and turn off the computer after all your work is done.

Start each day by writing what you would like to accomplish in your journal. Create your free account here.

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