Every day, new devices, apps, websites and content are created and we become enthralled with the latest innovation. Our society has become a tangled mess of iPhones, tablets, social media posts and laptops, which dominate our modern world. It is almost impossible to separate any career, industry or individual from technology— from television to smartphones to wearable technology, we have integrated it into almost every aspect of our lives. Our connectedness has made us available virtually anywhere, anytime, even in private settings. Yet extensive research shows that we have lost valuable person-to-person interaction, which is a prominent factor in happiness and success. While most agree that technology has greatly enhanced our lives, most can also agree that society as a whole overuses it. So how do we control technology before it controls us?
There are numerous benefits of using technology, but moderation and focus are keys to balancing technology so that it doesn’t dictate our lives. By moderating our technology use and focusing on tasks without the distraction of technology, we can improve work productivity and efficiency, as well as create more relaxed recreational time. While multitasking can be a great tool at times, concentrating on a specific task reduces time spent on each task, allowing for more completed tasks in less time. Thus, work time becomes play time, and who could argue with that?
Keys to balancing technology and your time:
- Set aside time to disconnect from technology — try the Freedom app to block internet access for certain periods of time.
- Designate technology times — for example, set a time to check your social media before work, browse the internet before bed, etc. Try using Cold Turkey to block sites during nondesignated times.
- Avoid using technology when it is not necessary — try checking mobile devices only for notifications.
- Schedule social interaction time — person-to-person interaction is still key! Schedule in-person meetings, lunch with friends and team-based athletic activities.
- Designate work time — pick a time of the day to focus only on work. Try the Focus Booster app to get work done in specified times.
- Limit multitasking — concentrate on completing one project at a time.
- Eliminate social media breaks — while completing tasks, hold off on using social media until designated technology times.
It can’t be denied that technology is a necessary tool for work and entertainment. Take advantage of the benefits of technology, but do not let it disconnect you from the real world. With the suggestions above, regain control of your time spent with technology and start living today!