Tackling digital burnout during lockdown

Tackling digital burnout during lockdown

We are living in a highly digitized era, getting more and more used to spending hours in front of a screen. Currently, in the context of a worldwide pandemic lockdown, the time we spend behind a digital screen has seen a dramatic increase.

If you are like us and have to use the internet a lot – working at home, keeping up with global news and maintaining contact with your loved ones; you have most likely experienced burnout, stress and fatigue caused by excessive use of technology. We all deal with exhaustion differently, so here are some tips and tricks that can help you manage and reduce burnout:

  1. BOUNDARIES

Working remotely has blurred the boundaries of our work schedules, and many of us are used to checking emails even while eating or relaxing. Controlling your screen time is important! You can separate work and home by creating a “Work-free” zone, like your bedroom, where technology usage is limited, or even denied!

Try not to do your work in the same room where you relax or sleep, as you might end up blurring the lines between personal and work time. Having meals without checking your phone for news, emails or social media posts is also helpful when it comes to unwinding!

photo of woman lying on bed while using laptop
Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Pexels.com

2. BE PICKY!

It can be overwhelming to keep up with the numerous content-heavy social media networks that we are a part of. Social media is a big chunk of our world, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours upon hours on a platform that does not serve your needs!

Think about all the various sites and apps you use. Which one makes you the happiest, or provides you with the most fitting and interesting content? Is there any one that makes you feel drained, unhappy or overwhelmed?  

Try to cut down the time you spend on social media tools that do not do the best to help you in achieving your goals! Invest your time in a more selective manner and don’t worry- it’s impossible for anyone to be everywhere at once!

apps blur button close up
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3. WATCH YOUR TIME!

Time is tricky and slippery, and it’s easy to find yourself spending 4 or more hours on the internet unknowingly. You check your clock and it’s 10:00pm, and then seemingly a few minutes later it’s already way after midnight, and you’re still writing emails!

The internet is open 24/7, and there is always something more to check or do. That is why it’s important to watch your time and hold yourself to a schedule.

– Try some time-measuring apps to notify you when you’ve already spent 2 or more hours working, so you can take a short break.

– Set a clear, stable cut-off hour at which work ends and after which you will not use technology, or only use it sparingly to relax.

– Try to set aside 2-3 hours every day for activities away from the computer: reading a book, DIY crafts, going outside (socially distanced of course!) or engaging in a hobby.

– Try to only visit social media once you are finished with your work. Social media sites are a slippery slope of never-ending content that can easily captivate your attention and affect your productivity. It’s hard to escape the strong embrace of social media, so it’s better to only willingly hug it once you’re done with your responsibilities!

4. CLEAN UP AND ORGANIZE!

No, we don’t mean break out the old vacuum and deal with the dust on those bookshelves! Digital content and information can get cluttered just as easily as physical objects and papers. Try to take some time at the end of the week to clean up and organize it!

Keep the on-going information flood at bay by unsubscribing from newsletters you no longer need, unfollowing pages and individuals that don’t provide a positive contribution to your day to day life and deleting unnecessary files and pictures crammed in your storage!

Tidy up your bookmarks- you might find stuff from years ago in there!- icons and apps you no longer use. Keep your email well organized and delete old emails, separate new ones by folders or labels and try to use email filters in order to more easily file emails you know you receive frequently! Nobody wants to open their email box when they see “ 9999 unread emails”!

silver imac displaying collage photos
Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

5.CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK

There is nothing wrong in giving yourself a break. Take a day to “turn off” your brain and blow some steam. The world is in a serious place, and there is a lot of negative news to keep up with that can definitely affect us and create more burn-out. It’s okay to take a break from the world sometimes and just watch some mindless entertainment, or completely shut yourself off from the digital world for a bit!

Put on some comfy clothes, grab your favourite snack and take some time to relax. Try to keep guilty thoughts at bay- everybody needs a break, and with the world going through such a tough time we all deserve it!

unrecognizable woman with dog resting in cozy bedroom
Photo by Enrique Hoyos on Pexels.com

Hopefully these ideas can help you out! Don’t forget that burnout is something many of us deal with- so don’t feel guilty for being unproductive because of the stress and exhaustion it can cause!

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