Want to rest effectively? Put the phone down.

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To fully unplug, step away from the screen.

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I do quite a few different things. Between writing and working, down time doesn’t come often, which tends to be the case for most people in sport or digital media. Even when I do have time to myself, I’ll admit that I frequently come away from that time feeling even more tired.

So over the weekend I posed the question to sports business professionals on Twitter: how do you get effective rest? There was definitely a common theme to their responses…

The majority of people talk about getting distance from your cell phone or turning it off entirely. It sounds tough for a lot of us, but there’s scientific evidence behind it.

A 2007 study in Addiction Research & Theory determined that heavy internet and cell phone use is associated with high levels of anxiety and insomnia in many cases. Because our jobs depend so heavily on always being plugged in, it feels like you’re missing something when you aren’t online.

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Every time I check on something I made or wrote to see the traction it’s gotten, I get a little jolt of excitement. We start to crave those jolts to the point where we get uncomfortable or anxious if we aren’t doing it enough. That’s why weening yourself off of it for a little bit can be beneficial and allows your brain to fully power down.

To make those periods of distance from your phone easier, replace that time that you’d be scrolling through emails, game threads, or analytics with something “analog” that you enjoy.

A lot of the activities recommended to me include exercise, reading, or something that centers around patience or mindfulness (i.e. fishing or meditation). This creates a mental detachment from activities associated with your job.

To state the obvious, the internet is great. It’s what most of what digital media professionals do centers around at this point.

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But when it comes to letting your brain properly recharge, staying away from the stimulation of it, along with that of messaging and email for a little bit, can be highly beneficial.

That lack of familiar stimulation aides in that psychological detachment that makes rest effective.

How do you get the most effective form of rest?


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