Do you struggle to stay motivated for any activity that has the phrases “virtual” or “digital” in the title?
In addition, the term “digital burnout” has quickly become synonymous with incessant stress, particularly when used to describe millennials who hustle to the point of exhaustion.
Digital Burnout is a result of being immersed in the digital world and it is not a badge of honor, and yet we all tend to wear it daily as we manage to attend several zoom meetings, work 50+ hours a week, and forget to take a break.
Daily routine has been utterly disrupted, and we now have to cope with a never-before-seen barrage of dilemmas: Should I work on this presentation or prepare for the seminar? How do I keep in shape when I’m at home? Is it ok if I ditch my sleep and work extra hours?
Furthermore, social media overwhelms us with those reminders to “complete that project”: write that script, construct that armoire, learn Spanish and ascertain that your quarantine is not a waste of time.
We feel that by doing so, we are incurring a larger sacrifice for the greater benefit. But, in reality, we are squandering our mental and physical health.
In short, we’re exhausted in a whole new way as this burnout morphs during this pandemic and persists even in the oddest circumstances. But it is possible to both understand why we feel this type of burnout – and how we keep it at bay, too.
The most effective way to minimize digital exhaustion is to log off, unplug, and rest. However, it is not as easy as that. The constant pressures of our connected world make quitting our digital devices incredibly difficult. But much like an espresso shot in the morning consider the following habits for avoiding digital burnout:
- Cut down your screen time:
Even though it’s the most generic thing to advise, but it surely does help. The chances are that when you sit at your table to begin your work, you are working hours without stepping away from your desk or taking a break. Schedule a time to take a break, have a cup of coffee away from your laptop, or even work in your garden.
Consider alternate ways to do some of your tasks that do not require the use of a digital device, such as drafting a report outline or organizing a to-do list. In addition, make a commitment to use your digital devices only when it’s absolutely necessary.
- Set some boundaries:
You may need to create priorities while setting boundaries. For example, every notification cannot be considered an emergency or require a quick response. You would interact with your coworkers at any time using your laptop or phone. Is it, however, truly necessary to communicate beyond business hours? Henceforth, checking your social media, instant messaging, or email alerts as soon as they arrive may not be essential. Better, to switch off all the notification and email alerts.
- Make some time for your non-digital life:
In the midst of a pandemic, this might be difficult to follow up, but it is critical to nurture alternative activities that do not involve your digital devices. To that end, consider what interests or activities you’d like to pursue.
At the end of the day, your life should be greater than what you do on your devices. Your digital devices make it easier to access certain facilities and services, but they should only be used to enhance your life, not that it should be your only focus.
- Check up on your friends:
How many individuals do you exclusively contact via text, social media, or email? While being busy with our zoom call meetings, hinders our mental health especially in this age of limited travel and social isolation. When you have the opportunity (and only if it is safe), check up on your friends, family, and coworkers in person. Take a walk, meet your friends for coffee, or stand six feet apart in your driveway. When you do get together, remember to switch off your phone and put it aside.
- Cull your digital heard:
How many different internet accounts do you have? How many different social media networks do you use? Do you require all of them? Do you make use of all of them? Most likely not. Assess your phone and laptop and eliminate everything you don’t require. You’ll reduce the number of texts and diversions you get from it. It will give you more time on your plate—and more tranquility in your life.
When in doubt, but perhaps the best thing you can do right now – in the age of social distancing – is the exact opposite of being productive. Do nothing. You do not have to be productive every day. Take care to stay sane before panicking about the progress of your work, it is important to detox every once in a while from these social media.