five ideas for a better tech life balance

Facebook, Twitter, smart phones, tablets, downloading, streaming, all words which didn’t exist with their current meaning when I was a child. I’m hooked on technology, and my instinct is to use my devices to the max, checking for emails, weather updates, news, and social updates regularly. I also use my smart phone as an organiser, for my calendar, to do lists and budgeting app. I’m in serious danger of mistaking my phone for an extra appendage. However I notice that whilst it can be really helpful to use my devices, they can also cause stress. Overload is a problem for me and sometimes I just need to switch off.

Five ideas for a better tech life balance;

1. Have a cut off time for tech. I recommend at least an hour before bedtime is a good time to turn off your devices, and make yourself unavailable. Using tech in the wind down to sleep does not promote restful sleep, which could have a detrimental affect on your health and energy levels. Also being constantly ‘on’ as we are with social media, and messaging, is stressful, give yourself some you time.

2. Take tech breaks. I’m definitely guilty of being distracted by my phone and tablet. There’s always something cool to Instagram, or someone messaging me looking for interaction. So I have days out when I switch my phone off and experience rather than record. If I’m playing with my children I put the phone out of reach, on silent so they can have my full attention, the same could apply to socialising with friends tech free.

3. Don’t get sucked in. We’ve all done it. You pick up your phone to respond to a text and without really realising or making a conscious decision you find yourself checking Facebook or browsing the web. Try to stick to the task you planned, this one takes discipline.

4. Use the spare moments in your day differently. I have a habit of pulling my phone out whenever I find myself with a spare minute or two. Doctors waiting rooms, arrived early to school pick up, waiting for end of kids activity, I grab my phone and ‘fill the time’. Which doesn’t give my brain any time to process, or just be. If you recognise this in yourself then try not to reach for your phone when you find yourself with a spare moment. Instead reflect on your day, or just drift away.

5. Use your brain. These days if you have a need it’s really easy to fill it with tech. Sat nav’s, google searches, find your nearest petrol station apps. If we can’t figure something out it’s easy to reach for some tech. I’m convinced this means we use our brains less, and as they say ‘use it or lose it’. It’s not that we shouldn’t use tech to problem solve but that we could use our own brains from time to time, to challenge ourselves. Give it a go.