Power down and be present. Is it time for a digital detox?

Power down and be present. Is it time for a digital detox?

You know putting your device down, leaving it behind, or even turning it off more often, would do you good — and if you’re among a growing group of Canadians feeling you’re rarely wholly present in the moment, it’s high time you did.

Seven ‘smart’ ways to a digital detox:

  1. Take weekends off! Shut down your computer after work on Fridays, take a break from your social media platforms, and turn off your phone. Pledge to be wholly present on weekends — with your partner and kids, with friends, and as you go about life.
  2. Swap out phone time for something you enjoy more — lunch and shopping with a friend, a fun fitness class, crafts with your kids, or getting outdoors with your partner.
  3. Take a good look around and see what you’re missing. When you’re glued to your phone or computer, you miss out on small moments in relationships, in nature, and in life, that you’ll never get back. There are no do-overs – so power down and engage in what’s real, and what’s happening NOW.
  4. The average North American checks their phone 46 times a day. If you’re among this group, you need to cut back… way back. Cut back to half this number immediately and a week later, allow yourself just three to six ‘check-in’ times a day, limiting each to the shortest amount of time possible.
  5. Turn it off — or leave it behind. If you’re unable to stop yourself from picking up your device and checking in regularly, it’s time to get tough. Turn it off and stow it somewhere that’s harder to access, or leave it at behind altogether.
  6. Don’t take your phone to bed. OA recent survey found that over 70% of adults have a smartphone, tablet, or computer in their bedrooms and that close to half keep them on. Talk about temptation — and a sure-fire way to sabotage a good night’s sleep. Get an old-fashioned alarm clock and set it for your walk up call.
  7. Consider a digital babysitter — apps like Freedom, SelfControl, and Digital Detach can help you gain control over your digital habits and in extreme cases, give you your life back.

Think about all the moments you’ve lost out on, the meaningful conversations with your kids you might have had, and the time days, weeks, months, and years, where you’ve hardly noticed the seasons change. Life is short. Pledge to get more from it.



A marketing communications professional with over 25 years of experience and a fitness instructor/trainer of three decades, Catherine has inspired thousands of Canadians to lead active, healthy lives. Catherine lives in Toronto and has two daughters, ages 21 and 18. Visit Catherine's website