How to Prevent Your Tech Devices from Deteriorating Your Mental Health
Updated: Feb 21, 2021
One of my favorite songs from Duran Duran's 'The Wedding Album' contains the lyrics"Destroyed by ABC. I hate to bite the hand that feeds me so much information.
The pressure's on the screen to sell you things that you don't need. It's too much information for me." The album was released in 1993, yet it's surprising they lyrics still ring true today, especially when your smartphones, computers, and tablets give us access to just about anything we want to read about. 2020 has been a very challenging year with the pandemic and increased racial tensions. Unfortunately, too much information (real and fake) can cause negative effects on your mental health. Follow these steps that will help you keep your sanity and give you peace of mind!
1. Disable all notifications from every app. You might think notifications work because they give you up to the minute information on what's going on in the world and on social media. The truth is those notifications were designed to keep you tuned in to your favorite app and your smartphone. App and smartphone developers want to keep you tuned in to your devices because it helps them sell more devices. When you get into a habit of not knowing what's going on, you begin to develop what's called FOMO or Fear of missing out. If you disable your notification, trust me, the world will still turn and that news or hot social media posts aren't going anywhere.
2. Disconnect with people on social media who aren't enhancing your life. I always hear about people talk about how negative social media is. Well, I hate to break it to you but your social media feed is something you created. Your feed is full of comments, photos, and videos of the people you're connected to. If your feed is full of negativity, it's because you connected with people who like to post negative things. We all know people who never have anything nice to say online and offline. It's hard when you're an entrepreneur because you want to connect with as many people as you can to create business relationships. If you want some social media peace of mind, drop those zeros ... and connect with some heroes online. You can still reach and connect with new folks ... just make sure they are saying stuff that is adding some positivity to your life.
3. Get into the act of unplugging. The first full weekend of March is National Day of Unplugging and every year I post about it on social media ... some of you take the pledge, but most of you tell me how stupid I am and how you could NEVER give up your phone. Well, if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, it's probably because you're staring at your phone too much. It's a known fact that too much technology can stress you out. Carving out a little time to take a break from your phone and other devices is a great idea. I usually choose Sunday as my day of unplugging. My phone sits on the charger and I make my focus on spending time with my boys or knocking out the endless amount of chores that need to be done around the house. When I check my phone on Monday, I find that I haven't really missed out on anything and I can start the week refreshed.
4. Set solid hours when working at home. I've had a home-based business for 27 years and one of the first things I had a learn was to have set hours. If you're one of those people who has had to make that transition from working in an office to working at home, you have to make set hours or you will be working all of the time. How does this play into tech? Well, most of you are working on some form of technology in your job. Keep the same hours you had when you have to commute to an office and when quitting time rolls around, stop. I know the big trending now is to share and boast about how much you're grinding and hustling ... especially if you're an entrepreneur. It's important to remember the whole grinding and hustle mentality is about how consistent you are at making things happen, not the act of burning yourself out because you work so much.
5. Have set times to use social media / check your email. Let; face it, email and social media are one big time suck. Once you start down the social media/email rabbit hole you can be stuck for hours and wind up someplace you didn't start ... like on Wikipedia or YouTube. I usually check social media and email 2 to three times a day. Once when I'm starting my day, at lunch and when my day is wrapping up. I'm fortunate enough to have an office manager who checks the office e-mail. As far as posting on social media, I usually schedule my post in advance using Facebook's Creator studio. I can schedule posts weeks or months in advance.
I get it, you love your tech devices, but remember these devices are designed to keep you hooked in and keep you engaged. Take your power and your life back by using your devices in moderation. The first part of 2020 has been bumpy and things might get worse as the year progresses, but it's always important to have your sanity in place so you can make clear decisions on how you need to navigate the road ahead.
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