Technology: our best friend and worst enemy. Technology was not meant to infringe on relationships, family time, sleep or exercise. Nor was it expected to weaken executive skills such as attention and emotional control. Technology was meant to increase our personal productivity, make us more efficient and free up discretionary time so we are not slaves to our work. But in many cases, we have become slaves to technology.
The fact is, we can’t do everything. Time management in the digital age of speed involves making wise choices. And it’s difficult to make wise choices when we do our thinking with sleep-deprived brains – sleep-deprived because we don’t have enough time after our over-involvement with digital technology to sleep properly, exercise sufficiently or eat nutritionally. Check out Bookboon author, Harold Taylor’s top 4 tips for managing technology.
Check out Harold in our free Time Management webinar on 2nd October at 12pm BST.
Identify when you use technology most
Turns out many of us have our phones on us more than we might think. An online poll revealed that 90% of the respondents believed their smartphones made their lives more convenient. So convenient, evidently, that 30% of people go online before getting out of bed, 31% use them at the dinner table, 29% actually scroll away in the toilet and 42% check them just before falling asleep at night. Identifying when you find yourself scrolling the most is the first step to cutting back on overusing your tech.
Protect your relationships
Many of us have unfortunately been privy to the annoying and rude experience of attempting to spend quality time or have a conversation with someone who just cannot seem to put their phone down. Unsurprisingly, smartphone use is a common discussion point between marriage counselors and their clients. Whether with friends, family, colleagues or a partner, monitoring your phone use is incredibly important. Consider setting boundaries and guidelines that are acceptable to both parties. We all need time for technology – both for business and personal reasons – but it should not overlap with time being spent together
Don’t let notifications take over
That constant ringing, vibrating or pinging of incoming notifications is enough to drive any of us crazy. A consistent stream of new and distracting information takes up a lot of our time and it is important not to allow it to control our day by setting up our own rules for checking notifications. Perhaps you reserve your work notifications to twice per day, for instance – more frequently if your company’s success depends on a quick response to emails and reserve checking personal notifications for lunch breaks.
Get up and move (without your phone)
Many of our jobs require us to be somewhat glued to our desks but it is important not to forget to stretch our legs every so often. Getting up for a walk outside (even just the parimeter of the office!) without our phones can do wonders for our mental and physical health. Many of us actually experience anxiety when we spend any time less than a few feet away from our mobiles (What if my boss messages me?) but by facing this anxiety head-on by leaving the phone behind every so often, we can work towards relying on them less.