In this day and age, we are on our technology more than ever. Our televisions are on day and night. The first thing we do in the morning is check our phones. Even when you don’t realize it, this kind of unchecked technology use is draining you. That’s why SAHM need to unplug weekly.
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I am lucky enough to not spend a lot of my time on social media unless it’s for the blog. However, I am super guilty of too much TV use. It feels like it is always on in the background, even when we’re not watching it. Until recently, I even used it to help me fall asleep. It’s totally embarrassing how much TV we watch.
What’s ironic is that I have rules in place to help the day go smoother. For example, we don’t turn on the television before school because the kids were getting ensconced in the shows and losing track of time. This led to too many days of missing the bus or being dangerously close to doing so until finally, I said enough is enough.
For too long, I’ve told myself I don’t need better boundaries with my technology use because I don’t waste hours online watching YouTube or scrolling through Facebook. When I started trying to find additional time in my day, I started doing some tests. I set very specific TV boundaries for myself and found that my productivity shot through the roof.
I went from struggling to write 1 blog post a day to writing or outlining 3 or four. I started getting my cleaning done more quickly. The amount of time I had to complete these tasks didn’t change. However, when I was focused on the tasks without the background distraction of the TV, I worked more quickly and efficiently.
Benefits of Unplugging
Getting more done is only one benefit of unplugging. Even if your family aren’t big television watchers but you find yourself getting lost on Facebook or Pinterest while your kids play on their tablets. You husband spends hours after work playing video games multiple times a week. If any of this sounds familiar, no doubt your entire family can benefit from unplugging weekly.
Reclaim Your Time
The first benefit of unplugging has been the most beneficial for me and that is reclaiming your time. Think about how much time you waste on social media, watching TV, checking your phone or the myriad of other ways you waste time with technology.
If you make it a point to consciously unplug once a week, you will find that you have a lot more time for the things that matter. That can be spending time with your family, taking time for yourself, and even reconnecting with your husband.
More Meaningful Connections
Too many of our interactions are distracted by technology. When you take the technology out of these situations, you will pay more attention during family dinners, holidays, and time with friends. More importantly, you’ll also be more likely to connect in real life.
When you aren’t getting the false ‘connection’ through social media, you are more likely to reach out to connect with friends and family in person. That coupled with spending the time together technology free also leads to deeper and more meaningful connections with the people that mean the most to you.
Help With Your Productivity
As I said above, when you’re focused on the task at hand without any distractions, you are more productive. In fact, it has been found that unplugging at work helps you be more productive too (Fitness Magazine). When you stay off of email, social media, and turn your phone off at work it allows you to get focused and efficient work done.
If it works that well in a work setting, think about how well it can work in your home. It is so easy to fall into unhealthy routines as a SAHM especially because there is a lack of external forces structuring your day. Turn off your phone and other electronics during important tasks to increase your daily productivity.
Get Better Sleep
Getting off of technology at least an hour before bed can help you fall asleep faster and more easily. If you need the distraction of television to keep your mind from running at night, try getting a small CD player and play music. You can also try reading a book before bed to help calm your mind.
How To Unplug Weekly
The benefits of unplugging weekly are all fine and dandy, but how to you actually do it. Here are 4 tips to help you start unplugging from technology weekly.
Setting healthy technology boundaries is just as important as setting boundaries in other areas of your life. Unfortunately, technology boundaries are more difficult because you aren’t just pushing against the boundary intrusion by other. Instead, you are fighting against your own habits which means that it is much harder to stick to them.
Make the process easier by starting with the next tip:
If you find yourself really struggling to unplug, start small. Set a rule, for example, that you can’t use any technology before 9 am or after 8.
Even that might be a struggle at first. If that’s the case, then break it down even further. Create the rule that you won’t have technology on during play time with your kids. Another option is to turn it off during meals or while cleaning. Whatever makes sense for you and your schedule.
Pick a Day
Ultimately, your goal should be to get to an entire day that is tech free. Choose one day a week that you will disconnect completely from your phone, social media, television, and video games. Ideally, choose a day that your family is regularly unscheduled so that you can spend it together. It is a game changer for your family and the relationships you have with each other.
Keep in mind, that having a tech free day doesn’t mean you stop enforcing the other technology boundaries you created. Instead, this is in addition to. I still recommend keeping technology off during important tasks during your day and an hour before bedtime.
Make It a Family Thing
Speaking of choosing a day to be technology free when you can spend it with your family, get your family involved. Set rules about technology use for everyone. No electronics at the dinner table, have everyone be tech free on your chosen day, keep the TV off at night and spend some time together. Whatever it is, include your family in it. Not only with this help your family build stronger connections with each other, it also helps your kids develop healthy habits for the future.
Too often we convince ourselves that we don’t have a technology problem. We don’t spend hours watching cat videos on YouTube or playing video games like our husbands and kids. I’ve totally been guilty of this. The truth is, you likely have some technology vice, so-to-speak. That’s why SAHM need to unplug weekly. It will help you identify your technology crutches, make you more productive, and improve the quality of your relationships. Think about how awesome that would be then work to make it happen.
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