From our phones to our smartwatches, tablets, laptops, and everything else in between, it’s hard to keep up with it all. Technology should be a tool for our lives, not a hindrance, especially when you’re sitting pretty and comfy in your work-from-home outfits. Read on to find out how to implement tech into your daily routine without letting it take over.
It’s important to know when to step away from technology. Digital detoxing means something different to everyone. To you, it might mean deleting your Twitter off your phone during the week and redownloading it when you have spare time to browse during the weekend. To your sister, it might just mean muting or hiding notifications from Instagram. To someone else, they think digital detoxing is just not looking at their phone first thing when they get up in the morning. You need to decide what digital detoxing means to you, and maybe it’s a combination of these three things and more. If you want to implement tech into your life, you also need to know when to step away from it.
If you have few options but to stare at your monitor and phone all day, you’ll need blue light protection. Even if you don’t wear glasses, you can get blue light glasses to protect your eyes from harmful blue light. You can adjust your monitor to have a blue light display. According to Harvard Health, overexposure to blue light can affect your natural circadian rhythm, making it challenging to sleep at night. Try not to look at your phone, computer, or TV before going to bed. For many of us, that’s just not a reality, and that’s OK. If you can’t help but look at some kind of electronic device before going to bed, at least dim the brightness or use a night shift mode. Another thing you can do is expose yourself to more natural bright lights by taking a walk or standing out in the sun during the day. This will help boost your alertness and mood during the day while helping you go to sleep more peacefully at night.
No one likes cleaning up their inbox. Whether you’re on the receiving or sending end of tons of emails, you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, >61% of people admit (and those are just the people who admit it!) that they are addicted to the internet, and a third of people would rather clean their toilet than their inbox. If you work odd hours, find yourself getting up way too early or having a thought in the middle of the night that can’t wait until “normal” working hours, do yourself and the person receiving the email a favor and schedule the email instead. That way, your boss doesn’t have to hear a ding sound at 3 a.m. because you just came up with a brilliant idea and couldn’t lose the thought.
You can plan when you’re going to post on social media to be strategic about engagement instead of just posting it at random and hoping for the best. Whether you’re running your own brand, overseeing the social media content for your business, or just want to be more thoughtful about your cooking blog, save yourself the stress of figuring out whether to post on a Tuesday at noon or a Wednesday at 9 a.m. is better for more views. You can use social media management tools like Buffer for social media scheduling or HootSuite for monitoring and analytics. Do your research and decide what works for your business size, social media presence, and goals. Being able to stay on top of your social media planning is vital as whatever is popular today may be irrelevant tomorrow. Just take a look at up-and-coming platforms like ByteDance, where the founder, Zhang Yiming, plans to be as borderless as Google. Well, while they figure all of that out, all you need to do is figure out your social media schedule for the next week.
Enjoy the silence of not having to hear a ding every time someone texts you. Are you part of a family text message chain you would otherwise not be a part of but can’t leave without blocking your family? (Sorry, Dad — still love you.) Simply mute notifications for that specific text thread, so you don’t get a meme when you’re trying to work or do anything else. You can have a no-phones rule in the bedroom or the kitchen. Before going to bed, put your phone in a designated area like one of our storage baskets. Before you sit down at the dining table together as a family, put your phone into canvas storage bins.
You may have thought that subscribing to that newsletter was a good idea. Then all of a sudden, this company or blog is sending you an email almost every day. You keep deleting or letting those emails pile up in your inbox. If you’re not reading them, click unsubscribe and save your inbox the newsletter bloat.
Don’t get distracted when you’re working. If you find the urge to Google something or read an article when you have a deadline, save that article for later. That way, you won’t end up clicking article after article or going from one website to another and down the YouTube rabbit hole of random videos when you should be finishing that report.
The most important way to implement technology into our daily routine is to know when to put it away. That’s why the first thing we mentioned on our list was digital detoxing. Besides just muting notifications or deleting apps, there are times when we simply need to unplug our devices or look away from our phones for more than an hour at a time. Consider implementing a “no contact” day for one day a week, or at least half a day. Use that day or that large chunk of time to do device-free self-care activities. Enjoy time with your family and friends sans electronic distractions, and if you want to take photos of the moment, consider going back to print photos like instant Polaroids.
Treasure every moment with your family in everything from cheesy matching pajamas to ugly Christmas sweaters, all without picking up your phone. Even if that just means taking a walk in the sunshine for a few hours. Once you’re rested and recharged, you’ll be able to get back to your routine, ready to plug back in.