digital fatigue

Feeling digital fatigue? 6 simple yet effective steps to combat it

Here are some steps you can follow to avoid digital fatigue and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Our lives are becoming increasingly digital, more so after the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether you are a student taking online classes or a remote worker brainstorming with colleagues via video conferencing, technology has become a ubiquitous part of your life. A survey conducted in 2020 found that 34 percent of people spent more than four hours per week on group video calls in India.

Even when we are not working or studying, we find ourselves glued to our phones, scrolling our feeds, or binge-watching one series after another. So much so that sometimes you may even find it difficult to unplug. As a result, we feel physically and mentally exhausted. Over time, this overload of information can put us at the risk of digital fatigue, which can cause our energy to deplete, and may lead to burnout.

It is, therefore, pertinent for us to take measures to combat the effects of digital fatigue. Read on to know more about the steps you can follow to avoid it and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Increase your movement

To avoid digital fatigue, we must take breaks from staring at our screens, especially while working. It’s crucial to give your eyes some rest by taking timely breaks. When you take a break, don’t use it to check your social media feeds. Instead, keep your devices away, get up from your chair and engage in physical movement. Simple activities like taking a walk, stretching, rolling your shoulders, can help improve your blood circulation. Try to add an exercise routine to your daily schedule, which will have a positive impact on how you work and your health.

Be mindful of the screen time

According to a report, “on average, adults in India spend 4.4 hours a day in front of screens, outside of work or educational time.” Excess screen time will, in the long run, prove to be detrimental to your physical and mental health. That’s why you should make a conscious effort to reduce the time that you spend in front of the screen daily. A simple way to go about this is to plan a screen-free time each day. For example, you can leave your phone at home when going for morning walks. Resist the urge to browse through your feeds while eating. After finishing work, try to unplug and set a time limit for the usage of your gadgets.

Turn your camera off during virtual meetings

Virtual meetings have skyrocketed ever since remote working became the new normal. More and more people are logging in to popular video chat platforms to connect with colleagues, friends and family. And though it is good to see each other’s faces, Stanford researchers suggest that these video calls are most likely tiring us out. Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, says that “it’s taxing on us. It’s stressful. And there’s lots of research showing that there are negative emotional consequences to seeing yourself in a mirror.” Whenever possible, try to opt for audio meetings and minimise video calls. This can help reduce the stress that can accumulate by seeing yourself on screen for hours.

Stick to a schedule

If you want to avoid digital fatigue, create a schedule and stick to it. When you are working from home, your daily routine can become erratic. Don’t just hit the bed whenever you want to or wake up a few minutes before the beginning of your work shift. Instead, set up a time to wake up, exercise, work, eat, rest, and spend with your family and friends. Following a routine can help you cope with digital fatigue, reduce your stress and create healthy habits.

Stop multitasking

When you multitask, you try to constantly switch back and forth between multiple tasks. This habit can increase your fatigue as you have to constantly shift your attention from one task to another. Multitasking is counterproductive as you will have a hard time focussing on your tasks, which will lead to shabby work. You can experience digital fatigue when you try to attempt other tasks while in the middle of a virtual conference. If you have a habit of sending out emails while attending a call, stop and focus on one thing at a time.

Eat healthy meals

A balanced diet is crucial to stay energised throughout the day and avoid fatigue. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast. Prepare your meals using ingredients that are high in nutrients, fibre and antioxidants. Also, try practicing mindful eating. For example, during your lunch break, focus on eating your meal mindfully without browsing your devices. When you cultivate a mindful approach towards eating, you will stay energised and remain productive throughout the day.


What is digital fatigue?

Digital fatigue refers to the exhaustion and burnout caused by excessive screen time and reliance on digital devices.

How can I combat digital fatigue?

You can combat digital fatigue by taking breaks from screens, increasing movement and exercise, being mindful of your screen time, turning off the camera during virtual meetings, and maintaining a healthy diet.

Why is it important to reduce screen time?

Reducing screen time is important to prevent physical and mental health issues associated with excessive device usage, such as eye strain, sleep disturbances, and decreased productivity.

How can sticking to a schedule help with digital fatigue?

Sticking to a schedule helps establish and reduces the likelihood of spending excessive time on screens and it promotes a healthy work-life balance.


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