A beginner’s guide to divorcing your phone


Stuck on your screen? We asked six very busy people to attempt a digital detox – here’s how you can, too.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Read the news? Check your emails? Scroll through social media? Now, imagine your phone’s not in the room. If that makes you feel aimless or uncomfortable, it may be time for a digital detox.

This doesn’t have to be about giving up the digital world altogether, says Tanya Goodin, founder of digital detox specialists Time To Log Off and author of Off. “It’s about becoming aware of your own personal challenges around screens, gaining an understanding of what will help you overcome them, and learning to live with technology in a way that’s healthy. People are always amazed by how different they feel after not being on their phones and that motivates them to want to keep going.”

Goodin has devised a seven-day detox, to fit in with a typical week of work while still enabling improved sleep, productivity and mood. She recommends downloading a tracking app such as Moment (free on the Apple store) which measures how much time you spend looking at your screen and how many times a day you pick up your phone.

“Some of the challenges make use of the functionality of the device itself, others are about physically removing yourself from it. They build up over the week from those that involve still keeping your phone on you, to those that involve separating yourself from it. Going cold turkey is daunting, so the week eases you in gently – from cutting down on particular aspects of your phone use to getting used to leaving it behind from time to time.” To read more from Martha Hayes, click here.