• Studies show that smartphones might negatively impact our sleep, relationships and happiness.
  • Digital detox is when you unplug from technology for a certain period so that you can reconnect with your life and the people around you.
  • You can improve sleep, be more productive and increase happiness with a digital detox.

Although smartphones and tablets have made it easy to connect with anyone anywhere, studies show that they might also negatively impact our sleep, relationships and happiness.

As real estate professionals, we rely on our smartphones and other technology to conduct business. They have become so entrenched in most of our daily lives that we can start to feel anxious if these gadgets aren’t within arm’s reach at all times.

Think about the last time you misplaced your smartphone; although you might not have broken out in a cold sweat, you probably felt anxious as you searched high and low for it.

At Buffini & Company, we encourage our clients to take a break occasionally from technology and try a digital detox.

Digital detox is when you unplug from technology — you turn your gadgets off for a certain period so that you can reconnect with your life and the people around you.

Here are five reasons to commit to a digital detox today:

1. Improve your sleep

Where do you keep your cellphone when you sleep? If you’re like many people, you keep it next to your bed so that you don’t miss out on any important messages during the night.

However, this has been shown to decrease the length and quality of your sleep, and might cause you to wake up feeling tired and unrested.

If you want to get a more restful night’s sleep, keep your phone on the other side of the room or out of the bedroom altogether.

That way you’re less tempted to check your email or scroll through social media when you should be sleeping.

2. Boost your attention span

Studies show that the human attention span has been reduced by four seconds since 2000, and technology might be to blame. Every text or social media alert you receive diverts your attention from the activity you were doing, which might make it more challenging to focus again.

Reclaim your attention by turning off the alerts on your phone, tablet and email so that you’re less tempted to check them all the time.

3. Increase your happiness

Although social media is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, especially those you don’t see often, it might also foster feelings of disappointment and negativity.

Scrolling through social media has been shown to lead people to compare their lives to the lives of others, which makes them feel inadequate and depressed.

Instead of scrolling through social media, take a stroll around the block, invite a friend to a movie or out for coffee, or take your partner or spouse to dinner.

4. Be more productive

Although you might feel as though your gadgets make you more productive, in reality, they might be slowing you down.

Constantly checking your email, phone or tablet for new messages has been shown to impact productivity negatively and might even make you feel anxious when your gadget isn’t nearby.

Turn off your phone or tablet during your productivity “power hour.” During this time, focus on the most important task of the day and don’t let anything distract you.

Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock.com

Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock.com

5. Strengthen your relationships

There once was a time when it was considered rude to take a phone call at dinner. Now, if you look around any restaurant, people are scrolling through their smartphones and texting throughout their meals.

And, it doesn’t occur only at dinner; it happens at the movies, shopping or on dates. Instead of communicating with each other in person, we rely on our technology to relay messages.

Turn off your phone or tablet when you’re spending time with family and friends, and encourage them to do the same. This break will give you the opportunity to chat and reconnect, which will improve your relationships.

Are you ready for a digital detox? Take the plunge and unplug from your devices for 24 hours or more. Although it seems daunting at first, the benefits will pay off in the end.

Click here to download our Digital Detox guide, and be sure to save it, print it and share it with your loved ones and friends.

Brian Buffini is the chairman and founder of Buffini & Company. You can follow Brian and Buffini & Company on Facebook.

Email Brian Buffini.

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