How to make technology work for you
Technology was supposed to make our lives easier, faster and more efficient. How’s it working out for you?
I regularly dedicate some time to thinking about my technology strategy and whether it is working. Is technology causing me stress? Is it robbing me of my time and ability to succeed? Is it affecting my personal relationships and making it harder to renew myself?
Ideally, we should control the flow of information that comes to us, rather than it controlling us. Constant access to technology has been found to deprive us of sleep, health, relationships, space and our sense of achievement. We are addicted to information delivered at the touch of a button whenever we like, increasingly putting us in the passenger seat of life and distracting us from who we truly are and what our purpose is. When we are tuned in all the time, we lose the ability to really focus on one thing and do it well; we are partially present in life. Is that how you want to live? Having your own plan to make technology work for you is the key to using it to enhance, rather than deplete, the life you want to live.
For instance, having phones on the table during dinner does not improve either the conversation or our sense of connection. Seeing pictures of other people on Facebook or Instagram can decrease our confidence when we consider ourselves or our lifestyle in comparison. On the other hand, setting reminders and alerts so you don’t have to remember everything yourself is very useful, as are mindfulness and health apps, downloads that you can listen to on the commute to work and of course smartphones make it much easier to stay in touch with people. Think about the way you use technology and make whatever adjustments are necessary to ensure it’s to your advantage.
Get into the driver’s seat
Use your smartphone to help you simplify and declutter your mental space. Do this by programming alerts to take your supplements or medication at the same time each morning, or prompts every couple of hours to drink water, stand up and stretch your legs. Program reminders for things you need to do later in the day, like taking out money to pay your cleaner, buying milk on the way home after work or returning library books in your lunch break. Your phone can keep track of the important tasks and also cover the basics so that you don’t have to remember everything.
- No phone in the bedroom or at meals.
- When you’re out with friends, have a rule that whoever spends time on their phone pays the bill.
- Program your phone/computer to work for you.
- Program your phone not to receive emails from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- Program it to remind you of your own values.
- Never walk into your home, or your family or friends’ homes, while you’re on the phone; finish your conversation before you walk in the door.
- Ensure you have at least 1 hour of family time each day where all the phones are switched off.
Shannah Kennedy – Master Life Coach, Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker
Specialising in executive strategy, transition, values, vision and life planning