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How to Have a Tech-Free Weekend – Even If You Think You Can’t

November 6, 2021

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Technology is 100% not required.

On any given day, you catch me juggling upwards of five screens at once. That typically consists of a phone screen, two laptop screens, a tablet, and a TV.

I usually don’t mean to use all of these items simultaneously, but I end up checking and using them all due to the power of habit.

Of course, I’m only giving a fraction of my attention to each screen, and I often step away from my screen spread, feeling frazzled and exhausted.

Searching for a solution, I stumbled across numerous accounts of people who felt just as overwhelmed by technology as I did and decided to unplug as a way to regain control.

To say that the notion of taking a break from my devices made me nervous is an understatement.

But, through trial and error, I figured out that it was possible to take a pause even though I initially thought that I couldn’t.

After devoting so much time to technology every day, I decided that enough was enough. I scheduled a weekend without screens of any kind, and shockingly I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders pretty quickly.

I rediscovered hours of free time and instantly reduced stress without the burden of email, weekend work, social media, TV shows, notifications, and alerts.

Keep reading to find out how you can have a tech-free weekend, even if you think you can’t.

 

What are the benefits of having a tech-free weekend?

Most of us spend our lives entrenched in technology daily. We frequently deal with technology, whether we’re sitting behind a computer screen at work or staring at our phones.

As a result of our tech-centric lives, it can be easy to forget what it’s like (gasp!) without technology.

There is evidence from multiple sources that taking time away from screens can yield results like improved personal relationships, increased mindfulness, and enhanced sleep quality.

No matter your level of tech usage, spending a weekend without technology is possible to achieve and generate many benefits.

 

How to Have a Tech-Free Weekend

Having a weekend without devices doesn’t have to be difficult and can be pretty simple if you take the proper steps. Read on for tips on how to achieve tech-free weekend bliss.

handwritten planner list

Credit: @noemieke on Unsplash

1. Try to tie up loose ends ahead of time

There’s nothing worse than starting your weekend with the nagging feeling of leaving incomplete tasks behind. Planning is your best friend if you know that you want to have a tech-free weekend. Planning means that you’ll be able to finish up any projects (or at least find a good stopping place) to allow yourself to have a work and tech-free weekend.

  • Keep a running list of tasks to complete: To reduce the potential anxiety of not having access to electronics (and subsequently work), make a list of everything you need to complete before disconnecting from tech. The goal isn’t to finish all of the tasks but to eliminate the feeling of “forgetting something” and having your to-do’s documented for future use.
  • Make a list of the week’s accomplishments: There’s nothing like starting your weekend feeling accomplished and content with what you’ve achieved. To boost this feeling, consider making a list of everything you completed, big or small, during the week. The list also helps to breed positivity which can increase the enjoyment of your weekend.

 

2. Set expectations for others before your tech-free weekend

One of the most common reasons people feel like they can’t be tech-free is accessibility to others. Most people feel like they need to be available to friends and family at all times or don’t want to be unreachable in case of an emergency. Barring legit emergencies and unusual occurrences, in most cases, it would be fine for you to be temporarily unavailable for a weekend.

One way to reinforce this with your circle is to notify anyone who needs to know of your weekend whereabouts that you’ll be unplugging.

  • Out-of-Office Message: First and foremost, if you’re regularly fielding work emails over weekends, turn on your out-of-office message. Instituting an out-of-office message is a foolproof way to let people know that they likely won’t get a response from you until Monday. You can also inform them that you will be unavailable to reinforce this sentiment for the weekend.
  • Change Your Outgoing Voicemail Message/Text Responder: Do you regularly receive calls and text messages when you’d rather not? Consider changing your outgoing voicemail message and setting an auto-response for your text messages as well. Think of it as friendly automation that temporarily bats unwanted communication away.
  • Do Not Disturb: If you can’t bear the thought of being completely off the grid, consider using the Do Not Disturb function on your phone. This way, you can designate contacts that will still be able to reach you if necessary and stay out of reach for just about everyone else.

 

closed laptop and plants for tech-free weekend

Credit: @niekdoup on Unsplash

3. Plan your tech-free time thoughtfully

Quick – think of five things that you can do without technology! If you’re like most people, you’re struggling to come up with three activities, much less five. To avoid sitting on your sofa and twiddling your thumbs when it’s time for your technology-free weekend, plan your time thoughtfully.

  • Consider making a list of analog to-dos: It doesn’t come naturally to us in today’s world to spend hours doing beneficial things without using technology. To avoid complete bewilderment, make a note of things that you want or need to do that don’t require the aid of a screen.
  • Put your tech gadgets away: Having easy access to electronics during your tech-free weekend will make it beyond tempting to check notifications or endlessly scroll social media. It’s worth hiding your devices away to eliminate temptation while you take a break from tech.

 

4. Be mindful during your break from technology

Yay, you’ve successfully made arrangements to be tech-free for a weekend! You may be surprised at how you feel when you’re not checking your phone every 9.3 seconds. Now it’s time for you to settle into the feeling of being without your devices and be mindful of your tech-free time.

  • Document your likes and dislikes: While you’re spending time away from your phone, laptop, TV, tablet, etc., make a note of what you’re thinking and feeling. Call it a list of likes and dislikes, pros and cons, or whatever you want. The point is to get in tune with your brain while detached from tech. The list may come in handy if you decide to recalibrate future tech-free time.
  • Let go and enjoy your free time!: Now the fun part! Take time to, wait for it, actually enjoy your time away from devices! Believe it or not, the act of doing absolutely nothing can be just as therapeutic as completing a deep clean of your home that you’ve been meaning to do or finally organizing your pen cap collection. Whatever you choose to do during your device-free time, remember to take it in and enjoy it.

 

The Takeaway

A tech-free weekend can give you the reset and recharge you need to set up your week for success. It also just plain feels good after spending countless hours stuck behind devices. When done right, it’s not challenging to reduce your tech overwhelm and rediscover the simple joys of life. The help of specific steps and a solid plan can make a tech-free weekend a foregone conclusion.

 

 

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woman sans technology experiencing a tech-free weekend

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roxy

Founder. Creative. Innovator. Artist. Writer. I'm here to take you along with me as we explore personal development, lifestyle, wellness, and self-care... together.

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