To help you create a healthy relationship with technology, here are some useful tools and tips.
Technology is such an important part of our lives, that it's undesirable to talk about disconnecting from it entirely. By gaining more control over our digital habits and digital behaviours we will be able to actually find the right balance that works for us.
There's no one-size fits all. What works for one person won't necessarily work for the other.
Here are a few options that can help you improve your relationship with tech. To help you stay in control.
There are two main elements. Digital guidelines: So these are different apps or specific technologies, designed to help you get greater control. And Physical guidelines, which is how we look at our environments and the personal space around us.
Let's start with the Digital. So first you can think about maybe reducing, or curating, or customising the notifications you have on your phone. For example, Gmail, Android, YouTube, all allow rich customisation of notifications settings.
Many tech companies are now launching a new wave of positive digital tools. For example, Wind Down feature, will turn your smartphone to grey scale when you designate a time that you are ready to go to bed.
A simple feature to use is putting your device in Do Not Disturb Mode. Do Not Disturb will generally block all notifications and prevent you from being interrupted. You can allow exceptions, so you can put on Do Not Disturb, but still allow a call in case of an emergency.
Also you can think about keeping the tools only to your homescreen and really focus on what's essential there. And that way, some of the things that can suck us in, is actually moved to the second or third screen of our device.
When looking at the Physical guidelines another tip that you can do is to try and spend as much time outside as you can because this will provide you with different stimulae.
Why not starting and ending your day without your phone? Charge your phone outside the bedroom so actually you're putting some distance
between yourself and the phone.
To help you be more productive at work. Maintaining a healthy digital diet helps us to improve our relationship not just in our private life, but also at work. One of the things organisations are starting to do is have device-free meetings. So when people are together, they will make a conscious choice not to check their devices.
I have one smartphone for work and another for my personal life. And when I'm at work, I put on silence or I shut off entirely my personal device and this allows me to focus entirely on the work that I'm doing.
When I leave the office, I shut off my work phone entirely, I then have my personal device. If I want to work really in a focused way I just switch off my devices completely. I just put them in a different room even.
In order to do our best work, we need to be able to focus deeply. Scheduling the time that we enter into our emails and respond to emails, really helps to minimise the number of notifications and distractions that come to us in the office. We can reduce the number of emails we receive, by reducing the number of emails we send. And rather than just firing off an email without thinking about it, maybe reflect on: is there other ways that I can get this information that I'm looking for ?
To help you better communicate with others try to have more face to face conversations. If that person feels that you are being distracted, the person will get the feeling that he/she is not too important for you. We feel each other much more when we are fully present, when we really embody this contact which we have with one another.
Changing habits and changing behaviours take time. You will enjoy the benefits of this balance, the benefits in your physical health, in your psychological health, in the relationship with other human beings and in the way in which you perform at work.
- How to achieve a healthy relationship with tech, using our tools and tips
- How to control your digital habits, so you can stay focused on what matters to you.