Powering Down: How to Ditch Digital Distractions

There's no doubt that technology can be addictive—seeing that someone liked your Facebook post literally gives you a hit of dopamine. But these temporary distractions can waste hours. Here's how to cut the techno clutter and take back control of your time.

Say no to games
Many of them are designed to leverage your sense of social obligation—as soon as you finish a round, your opponent is notified and another round starts immediately. There's seemingly no end to it.

Get off autopilot
You might think checking Facebook will be a quick diversion, but 15 minutes later you are looking at pictures of a cat dressed as a flying nun and you have two minutes left to prepare for your meeting. Instead, look out the window and take a deep breath, or stand up and stretch.

Take a digital sabbath
Unplug for an evening or a day. The first time, you'll feel antsy, but the more you consciously use that time for more restorative things, the faster you'll adjust. Fill a day with hiking or gardening and you won't miss Twitter at all.

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, PhD, is a technology expert and author of The Distraction Addiction.

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