8 Analog Lifestyle Hacks To Make Unplugging In The Silicon Valley Easier

If you live here in the Bay Area, you know that we love technology.  Like, LOVE it. So much so that we’re willing to wear pieces of it every day; Google Glass, FitBit, any other myriad of wearable tech…and it juts gets…old.  There’s any number of studies that talk about how using technology, no matter how cool it is, 24/7 is probably bad for you (source). If you’re ready to jump off the hamster wheel and start pushing reset on your brain, here’s 8 cool analog tips and tricks that will get you started on the right foot when it has the potential for being the wrong day.

629ch7Carry A Journal
Instead of relying on your iPhone to take notes or keep your ideas in, carry a small journal with you. Your notes can’t be lost when your phone crashes, and the act of writing something down instead of typing on a digital device has therapeutic effects.  It’s been shown that the act of simply taking the time to write helps manage anxiety as well as reduce stress (source).  That’s worth the $16 I spent on my last journal, for sure.  At the very least, not spending thousands on therapy will help reduce my stress by a lot!

629chRead An Actual Book
A real book. On paper. That weighs something and doesn’t need you to press start! It may just be that I’m a mom, but I’m used to shoving whatever in my tote bag, and I always have a book (or two!) with me.  The act of turning physical pages is a stress reducer, and I’m not fussed about my place being lost or needing to squint at a screen when it starts to get dark.

Write With A Pen
Even after the typewriter was invented, a pen was a highly prized possession among writers and students alike.  If you’ve ever signed your name with a629ch5 Mont Blanc fountain pen, you’ll just get it.  It’s like using a finely tuned piece of machinery that jots down your ideas with brightly hued Unicorn tears.  Beyond sublime.  (okay, that bit of poetry probably just happened because the last thing I signed with a Mont Blanc was my wedding certificate.  I still have no idea how the priest could afford it, but I must be in the wrong line of work!)

626ch2Write A Letter
If you’re old enough, you may have had a pen pal.  You know, a person in another state, or country, that you actually sent letters to.  The best part was getting letters back. Sure, you had to wait for them, but it was worth it when you opened the mailbox (from a real mailbox) and saw your name carefully written by an actual human!

Turn Off The Television
TV is the worst; when you watch it your brain stops thinking creatively and you let it do the imagining for you.  Before you know it, it’s 2 a.m, you’ve got nothing done and you’re tired. Yech, who needs that kind of mess?!  It’s sure to up your stress level by a gajillion because you know you have a pretty important presentation due in like, 6 hours right?629ch6

Turn Off Your Smartphone at 6 pm.
…and leave it off.  Either that or if you need a telephone, turn off the WiFi access or disable the Internet capabilities.  For most, their Smartphone = work.  You don’t have to work 12 – 16 hours a day, don’t believe the hype.  The cool kids are NOT doing it.

Set Your Email To Autorespond Every Night.
It’s so tempting to think that if you just respond to one more email, you’ll score points and look like you work all night. The problem is, you will. You will work all night because that customer is bored and will email you back, and you can’t back out now!  Set boundaries on your work emails, after all it’s already law in other countries:

“Germany’s employment ministry has banned its managers from calling or emailing staff out of hours except in emergencies, under new guidelines intended to prevent employees from burning out.” (source)

629ch4Use A Typewriter
This is one fad that’s taking off, well, everywhere really.  The downside of this is it’s now a fad tied to hipsters, which makes it a slippery slope. If you’re interested in typing because you love the smell of ink and the sound of the keys.  It would probably be best to use your typewriter inside, to avoid looking like you’re trying to emulate Hemingway. Unless you are, in which case…still don’t.

Clearly, you won’t be able to do all these hacks in the same week, maybe not the even the same month. But, I can say from practice that even adopting just one of these habits will start to reduce your stress while at the same time increasing your happiness. What do you think? Does this sound like too much hippie feel-good advice, or can you see the benefit in unplugging at least one device for the remainder of your day? Please let us know in the comments below!

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