8 Steps for Creating Technology Boundaries in Your Life.
By Amy Crawford
No matter the weather, there needs to be more time for this. Wide open spaces, freedom, stillness and some quality one on one time with Wilson.
You may have read my post last week about my obligatory 48 hour technology detox - the result of a flagging immune system and a particularly unhappy body that has been pushed to the brim (and beyond) for way too many months. This is unfortunately the 'fall out'. I have finally found a career that has me feeling so incredibly excited and passionate about what I do that the boundaries between 'work' and 'play' have disappeared and technology has encroached into the majority of waking hours - the consequence of living much of my life online. So the detox has come and gone and there is no question that it left me feeling rejuvenated. Yet that was momentary. There is without question a real need for some structure around my working week that allows for far less 'blurring'. As much as I love what I do, my rest time has become more pertinent than ever as I feel myself slipping into 'million mile an hour' Type A habits.
Today I would like to share with you some steps that have been recommended by my dear followers, who have had many a wise word to impart (and I am ever so grateful). I intend on incorporating these into my life and hope that this list will benefit others trying to find a happier technology/technology free 'medium'.
The first five come from the delightful Buffy-Ellen Gill of Be Good Organics in New Zealand.
1. Upon waking, do NOT check your iPhone. I don't even have it in the room. We have a "screen free bedroom" rule now (trust me, this has other positive flow ons). I use a traditional alarm to wake, and in the morning the first hour or two is completely mine. I have a hot lemon water, go to yoga or for a walk, have a coffee and breakfast out (my daily ritual treat), shower and prepare for the day. THEN I check my phone, emails, IG, FB etc. Trust me, the emails and comments do wait til then (~9am for me).
2. I try to switch the work day off at 6pm. That’s what normal people do! Let's just say I'm not very good at this one, it often creeps to 7/8, BUT the intention is there, every day, and I'm slowly getting better at it. I allow myself to check IG once after dinner ~7.30pm (although I'm working towards removing this also), then phone gets switched OFF. That’s right, off. Switched back on the next morning at 9am. Honestly it’s the most generous and giving thing you can do for yourself (and your clients).
3. Weekend's to be as tech-free as possible. You can actually schedule FB posts ahead of time, so my goal is to do that on the Friday if I want to post over the weekend (not required though), and therefore leave FB all weekend. IG is a little tougher, but intention will eventually be for it to be a Mon-Fri show only.
4. In general during the work day I’m aiming towards a twice a day checking/posting schedule. That's emails/FB/IG once in the morning (all posts and reponses), and once in the late afternoon. You actually become so much more productive during the day and can focus on particular tasks. When you’re present, not only are you more productive, you also enjoy what you’re doing so much more – try it! Check this link out, it's a cute wee footer you can add to your email signature block to remind people of that intention (or just hold the intention in your heart).
5. My partner and I are in the process of booking a 3 week trip to Italy in September. Is my business crazy busy and i don’t think i can afford to take the time off? Of course. Am I not sure how I’m going to cover things while I'm gone? Yes absolutely. But we're booking it anyway, those things will figure themselves out. How could you say no to Puglia?!!
6. The lovely Kate James from Total Balance, recommends this: I make sure every Sunday is my own now and often spend the afternoon lying on the couch with a book and we have a mini-break every couple of months where we get out of town and disconnect from technology. These small things make such a difference. I'm always more creative and more focused afterwards.
Sundays need to look and feel just like this. Say hello to Wilson. Clearly there isn't a care in the world (or an iPhone in sight).
Julie Green of juliegreenart.com makes this pertinent comment about why it's important to create space:
7. What is more important for me and my life is to live it outside of the screen and to CREATE more writing and photography instead of reading everyone’s blogs and spending too much time at the screen (although I still am). And even if I don’t get posts or pictures out as quickly or as in-depth or as regularly as I want to, there are other things on my plate, and balance and acceptance are key, I think
8. Erin from bookgirloz shares: I completely agree ... in that technology (and tweeting/blogging/etc) sometimes becomes such as big part of our lives that we forget to live the life that we want to blog about. My family made a pact to put away all of our phones/ipads/computers each Sunday.
Do you think you could adopt some (or all) of these practices?