How to get a digital detox

Anoop Nasa shares some useful tips for financial advisers to get a digital detox.
By Guest |  14-09-18 | 
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Morningstar invites thought leaders from the investment community to share their insights. Views expressed are personal and should not be construed as investment advice.

As financial advisers, we need to keep abreast of all major developments to have meaningful conversations with clients. With almost everything on the internet now, we are mostly glued to screens to get these updates via different ways. In doing so, inadvertently, we become so engrossed on internet for other leisure activities that add no value to our profession. Instead, it eats up too much time of ours and takes a toll on our health too. In my previous article, we learnt that that human beings on an average spend almost 7.25 hours a day on inernet. It’s again corroborated by the recent survey conducted by Mint & YouGov that people are spending more time being online than going outside. Before it takes a toll on our health and profession, it becomes imperative then to have digital detox from time to time.  Here’s how:

  1. Timestats/Rescuetime: We advise clients to work on certain things only after knowing their current financial status. In the same way, if you are not aware of where and how much time you are spending, rather wasting, how can you save it? Check out these two tools to keep track of how much time you are spending on different websites.
  1. StayFocusd/Simpleblocker: Once you come to know about the time wastage statistics, next step obviously is to stop it from happening. You can use these tools to set the amount of time you can spend on internet, and if you go over the limit, it blocks them.                                            
  1. Mute inbox for Gmail: This is an in-built feature of boomeranggmail which allows you to mute your inbox for a specific time. You will not be distracted by the continuous buzzing of never-ending emails coming into your inbox so that you can concentrate on important tasks. You can unmute it once you are done with these tasks.
  1. Install an Adblocker: This is used to filter the advertisements that we see while browsing. Once installed, advertisers can’t track you around the web and hit you with their retargeting campaigns. It also offers a better user experience as the pages you browse are less filled with clutter & you won’t have annoying distractions. Some of the most popular adblockers are:
  1. Our Smartphones are a constant source of distraction as it allows us to be online 24X7. But this very Smartphone helps us in our digital detox too. Here’s how:
  • Turn off your device’s & apps push notifications. This is the easiest one which you can do immediately. Here is how to do it on different devices.
  • Install Mute app for iPhone and Forest app for Google Play Devices and there you go.
  • Download & Install Headspace, available on Apple and non-apple devices. It’s a gym membership for the mind that offers an accessible way to get into meditation. They offer 10-day programme initially for free and then there’s an option to subscribe and get access to hundreds of hours of content on topics like health or relationships.

Feeling monotonous from the mentioning of too much tools? Here are some other tips to get detox:

  1. Our kids don’t listen to us, they imitate us. Go Play outside with them, ride the bike and don’t forget to leave the phone behind.
  2. Don’t wake up with your phone: If the first thing you reach for is phone; break this habit by leaving it in another room before going to bed. Invest in an alarm clock, wake up and just don’t touch your phone for an hour.
  3. Establish Tech Free Zones: Create rules around event or places and enforce them religiously. For example, don’t bring or take it out of your pocket when you are dining with your family or friends.
  4. Read something new: Buy some books for you & your kids too. Instead of indulging in screen time, read it. Here is a list of 50 recommended books for kids.
  5. Get connected with some old friends: Give them a call to surprise them. Plan a vacation or picnic with them. Do click some pics, not to upload but cherish the memories later.
  6. Become a writer: Write your emotions, feelings & experience in your diary. Read it whenever you are alone. Writing controls your anxiety too.
  7. Play with crayons & pencils: You may not be a good artist but can try colouring as it’s a great stress buster too.

Don’t lose heart if you feel you are not able to detox initially. Give it a few months, every detox takes time. Lastly, inform your clients before going on a detox.

Anoop Nasa is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of My Finkart.

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