If you have ever felt addicted to your phone, you are not alone. Our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves, expanding our minds into vast databases of knowledge. We have become so intertwined with our smartphones; we might think it would be impossible to go a day without them.
We often rely on our phones to tell the time, remember phone numbers, and wake us up in the morning. It can feel like emails, phone calls, and texts require immediate response, and there is also an expectation of hearing back instantly from others. The instant gratification of on-demand entertainment can be addictive. Technology is a distraction when not properly managed, connecting us to endless interruptions. As a result, it can be detrimental to physical and mental health. Technology quickly can become a burden without strategic awareness.
However, technology has shaped the way we learn and access information. It has given great access to knowledge. There are countless tools for businesses and individuals to grow and develop new skills. Adopting a zero-technology lifestyle is not the ideal solution.
So, where is the line between technology’s good and bad sides? How do you stay on the productive end of it? Although there are adverse effects of technology, we can be effective by setting boundaries, automating, and being mindful in our use to reclaim control over our lives.
Let’s look at how to restructure our methods of using technology to reframe it into a tool rather than a vice.
Technology should make life easier, not more complicated. Setting clear boundaries is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with technology. For example, having a separate work phone and computer can help to detach from the pulls of emails and work-related tasks. Establish a clear line where technology is permitted to cross over into your life. Use apps to block notifications at a particular time of day so you may avoid distractions. Reclaim control over when you are reachable. Closing doors of communication for intervals during the day will allow for more determined focus and uninterrupted workflow. By deciding when you are available, you make room to pursue the items on your to-do list that are of a higher priority.
Schedule your time
We live in an age where free time comes at a premium. Everyone has more going on with less time to accomplish it than ever before. So, rather than waste precious time dissolving into the lure of social media and instant entertainment, allot a certain amount of time to engage with these mindless activities. Make a schedule that clearly defines your top priorities and long-term goals. Remind yourself that an investment in your work-related tasks now will have a much higher return in the future than online shopping or watching Netflix. Even setting your phone to silent or airplane mode will provide space to work with focus. The constant ping of a cellphone alert promotes euphoric chemical release and addiction, creating the habitual behavior of straying away from productive work, which only brings you down.
Technology assists in simplifying methods to save you time and energy to use these resources elsewhere. For example, you can employ the calendar app to keep track of your meetings and engagements. The help of notifications and prompts ensures you do not let any responsibility slip by. Converting manual tasks to a digitalized process transforms technology as a personal assistant or secretary. Autopay bills, filter out spam, opt for paperless billing to save the environment and downsize cluttered filing systems simultaneously.
With the fast-developing world of apps, there is likely a program to help you with just about everything. However, it is best to try and minimize the number of platforms you use. Over-downloading apps could lead to more confusion and complication. For an application to work for you, you must understand what the technology is doing for you and trust in its ability to complete those tasks successfully; otherwise, you would still be wasting valuable time and energy double-checking all the processes. So don’t download everything you see.
Just as you tidy up your closets, apps can also benefit from the same routine cleanse. Dispose of all that is not serving you. Delete items that you do not need or that may contribute to time lost rather than time gained. If you have not opened an application in over a month, chances are it is of no use to you. Keeping tons of apps on your phone or computer will only act as a distraction that keeps you from your priorities. Cut the clutter.
If you can use one app for multiple things, you will have fewer distractions and reasons to use your phone or device. But just as it would be more challenging to have ten assistants than to have one, applications are no different. Though the help is available, it still becomes more to manage.
Try writing down all the apps that you use to digitalize tasks. Then, with your understanding of their function, examine whether or not there is an overlap of their services. Finally, seize any opportunity to amalgamate tasks onto the same platform.
Video conferencing, instant messages, and file-sharing programs allow for an immediate exchange of information. What was once logistically difficult and costly is increasingly more accessible. Technology has afforded us the ability to access people and information more efficiently than ever before. Remember to use the power of communication wisely, do not bombard colleagues with unnecessary emails and messages. Be mindful of your digital presence.
Technology allows you to stay connected with those who live anywhere in the world, no matter how far away. In your personal life, do not hesitate to use such platforms to reach out to family and friends. Make a point of connecting with parents or children. Remind the people in your life that you care about them. Send them a text or picture, give them a phone call, or FaceTime them. Use technology to strengthen your connections.
The bottom line
Although there are adverse effects of technology, it can be effective when setting boundaries, automating and being mindful of your use. Unfortunately, technology has a way of sucking energy from you. It demands your focus and depletes your precious concentration. It deviates attention away from priorities. If we allow it to claim our focus at every whim, our lives would no longer be ours. We would be out of control of the use of our time and would cease to evolve and grow. Productivity is a discipline; choose to use this magnificent resource wisely. Use the right technology. Download apps designed to help organize time and decrease distractions. We automatically focus more intently when we remove distractions. As long as we control its use, technology will always work for us rather than against us.