If you’re a regular here (or subscribe to my newsletter), you may have noticed a short pause in my weekly posts.
I didn’t plan the break…but did say yes to it.
Taking a holiday from (at least some) technology has felt increasingly healthy – and needed.
I absolutely intend to continue posting – and truly cherish the connections this space and technology foster. And yet, certain aspects of my relationship with technology are shifting…and wanting further change.
My dear friend Steve prompted reflection around this recently, asking:
“If you used your technology in the healthiest way possible today, what, if anything, would you do differently?”
Such an important question – and place of practice. I, for one, am disturbed by changes set in motion by my first iPhone purchase five years back.
They have an anxious, scattered flavour – feeding a multitasking, distracted, disconnected self in body, mind and spirit.
The shifts I’ve made to address this have to do with minimizing distraction, “noise” and anxiety…while supporting connection, focus and ease.
- I don’t own a television and read novels before bed. Staying off the computer and phone during that time, along with keeping lighting soft and low, is huge when it comes to sound sleep.
- I minimize bells, whistles and digital “noise” whenever possible: deleting apps on my laptop and phone, turning off sounds and alerts, and simplifying desktop and inbox settings.
Speaking of my inbox…
- I uphold a clean division between my personal and business email accounts (and rarely open the latter at night or on weekends).
- I follow a “touch-it-once” policy with email – meaning, if I open it, I have to address it right then and there (avoiding the open, close, reopen, close again habit).
- I maintain “inbox zero” 90 percent of the time with business email…and 99 percent of the time with personal email.
These simple practices bring tremendous ease.
- With email and other online interactions, I keep very few (usually two) tabs open in my browser.
- Since November, I rarely visit Facebook except to: 1) post an occasional share on my personal or business page, or 2) interact in a heart-centred small business community, where I’m a facilitator.
- Likewise since November, I’ve been doing increasingly rigorous edits of any groups, pages, people and newsletters I follow or subscribe to via technology.
Speaking of edits…
- I tidy and discard digital files on the regular. This keeps desktop folders and pictures minimal and orderly; same for Evernote stacks, notebooks and to-do lists.
- I’m also editing my behaviour – in particular, checking email and Instagram way less. Not taking my phone on errands is an important part of this work in progress.
And you? If you used your technology in the healthiest way possible today, what, if anything, would you do differently? I’d love to hear in the comments!