Need a Digital Detox? This tech CEO recommends it

The founder and CEO of a local tech company says she gave up screens during family time at home, and she's so happy about it that she's sharing some tips.

MINNEAPOLIS - When the founder and CEO of Clockwork is at her office in Minneapolis, she's all about her digital business.

"We're online and connected all the time," said Nancy Lyons.

But when she goes home, the screens go too.

"No devices," Lyons said. "I have a cupboard where I put my keys when I get home. I can put my phone there too."

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For the past five years, Lyons and her spouse have successfully kept phones and all other screens out of their family time. She says it hasn't hurt her business at all, but it was a hard practice to stick to.

"It is so much easier said than done," Lyons said. "It's something that challenges me every single day because my inclination is to want to be connected."

She forced herself to change when she enrolled her son in the City of Lakes Waldorf School, which has tech-free classrooms.

She says the first key to being successful was cutting off the problem at the source.

"Turning off (phone) notifications," Lyons said. "I think that's the easiest way to start moving in the right direction."

Nearly every phone has a notifications page where you can stop your alerts on each app.

"If my kids' school calls, I see it," Lyons said. "But aside from that, I don't care about anything enough to let it interrupt what I'm doing right now."

You might expect the tech CEO to use one of the many apps that help you monitor your screen time and eliminate distractions, but that's not the case.

"I think that apps can't change your behavior, you have to," Lyons said.

That's why she recommends physically removing your phone from settings that your family prioritizes. She suggests starting at the dinner table.

"We don't sign any big technology limitation agreement, it's just we want to be present in our family existence," Lyons said.

She say she also makes sure her employees aren't pressured to stay connected.

"I don't own their time," Lyons said. "We like to encourage balance."

If you are looking to start this process, but don't know the best way to start, Lyons suggests a short "digital detox." Try spending a weekend or a vacation away from screens completely. She says it can help people appreciate what they've been missing and add a little extra motivation.

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