How many times per day do you touch your phone? If you’re like me, you’re probably already feeling a little queasy just trying to put a number on it. For many of us, the phone is always at an arm’s length, so it’s hard to say. It turns out the average person touches her phone 2,617 times per day, and that frightening statistic is why I was thrilled to have the chance to read and review a new book titled Off: Your Digital Detox for a Better Life.

I read this book during a weekend away at our family’s lake house, and it opened my eyes to just how addicted I’ve become. I am never so relaxed as I am at this lake house, and while reading, it dawned on me that it isn’t the crashing waves of Lake Michigan, or even the ability to sleep in, that keeps me so calm and present on these getaways. The lake house is a sanctuary for one special reason: there is no cell service, and thus, no distractions.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to totally unplug?

That is just one of the many questions you will answer for yourself as you flip through this book. In this quick read, author Tanya Goodin tackles our phone and screen addictions head on to bring us back to enjoying the present moment. Goodin is an award-winning digital entrepreneur and founder of digital-detox specialists group Time to Log Off, which runs digital-detox retreats and events for adults.

Goodin and Time to Log Off are on a mission to inspire both kids and adults to disconnect from their devices and re-engage with the world around them.

In the book, Goodin compassionately walks us through how technology is designed to be addictive, then how to reclaim control. This book could easily be read in a weekend, but is one I will keep coming back to every time I feel the allure of that glowing screen.

Technology Has Us Hooked

The reason we are reaching for our phones 2,600 per day is because they are designed to be addictive. Goodin explains that technology is designed to hook us, to keep us scrolling when we know we should be getting back to work or going to bed. Every ‘like’ and comment on social media is reinforcement that keeps us glued to the screen.

Take Back Control

In this book, Goodin gently guides us back to the driver’s seat of our own lives. We don’t have to let the notifications and private messages control our days. The habits Goodin recommends are simple and straightforward; the book will guide you through setting your own boundaries for screen time, as well as identifying your triggers for getting sucked in. Goodin recommends mindfulness practices such as meditation and walking in nature to help us reconnect with ourselves and others.

A Quick, Helpful Read

While the concepts in Off: Your Digital Detox for a Better Life are simple and almost obvious, the fact remains that we are addicted and need an intervention. Even though I knew that spending more time in nature was good for me, I didn’t take action until the book inspired me to do so.

If you have been feeling the pull to step away from the screens in your life, plan a digital detox and follow Goodin’s advice. While the thought of a complete detox is overwhelming, the beauty of this book is that it does not demand an all-or-nothing approach. Even shutting down your computer 30 minutes earlier each night will reap benefits. As Goodin says, “And as you discover for yourself the benefits of logging off, through improved sleep, focus, productivity, and mood, I know you’ll be inspired to do more and keep going.”

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