5 Ways to Keep Your Tech Use in Check
We totally get it. Technology is everywhere, it’s wonderful and it’s more accessible than ever. If you don’t have your phone on you at all times, you feel like you’re either missing out on something amazing, or you’re surely about to get lost and you’ll need your map app. You can’t get to sleep without your Angry Birds, or the recipe you love is somewhere in your Google search and you cannot bake this cake alone!
We all know the struggles of finding a good balance between reality and technology. Whether it’s your iPad, cell phone or laptop, there’s always an update to be seen or a fun photo to take. However, we also know that we’re more dependent on technology than ever, and we think it’s about time we had the talk. That’s right…how we can keep our tech use in check and still manage to guide ourselves through life without depending on Siri.
If you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle that isn’t totally overrun by tech, we have some suggestions for you.
- Set aside a very specific amount of downtime from your phone.
We’ve all done it…it’s 6:30pm on a Wednesday evening and we’ve somehow managed to get everything done for the day. That means we can actually work on that personal project or start on a hobby we talked about in our New Year’s resolutions. You pick up your phone for a quick browse and before you know it it’s 9:00pm and you’ve only managed to creep so far into an Instagram account you don’t dare touch the screen.
Listen, it can be soothing to have a nice lay down with some tech time, but set an alarm for yourself for 20 minutes so you know to move along. It’s easy to lose track of time, so setting an alarm will help you to say to yourself: Okay, that’s enough creeping for today. Let’s get something done!
2. Stick with one game.
Yes…I said one. Those games might be ridiculously enticing and addictive, but if you’re trying to keep your tech in check, then this is very important. Having too many games is just an open invitation to spend the entire day launching pigs or cooking virtual meals. While I do not in any way deny that these games are amazing (Panda Pop for the win), this is definitely one of the “spring cleaning” things you’ll need to do if you want to be smarter about time spent on your tech.
3. Leave your phone across the room at night.
Adults do it, kids do it…maybe even your grandma does it. Our generations are certainly experiencing lack of sleep due to technology, and it’s up to you to make changes that will be healthier for you. Have a spot across the room that you leave your phone before you lie down, and make sure the phone is off or the screen is down to avoid excess light in the room.
4. Pick a day to go tech-free.
If you depend on your devices for work like many of us do, then you might find yourself on it all day for work, and on it all night for personal pleasure. This is a tough one, but we suggest picking a day of the week (likely a Saturday or Sunday) where you go tech-free for most of the day.
You can let people know ahead of time that you aren’t reachable, but try to really stick to this for a few weeks and see if it makes any big differences. (Do you sleep better that night? Do you get more done? Are your bills lower?) Some of the advantages of getting your tech in check will surprise you.
5. Make tech time a reward.
This works not only for individuals but for families as well. It’s hard to try and monitor the time kids are on computers, phones etc. but by using it as a reward for their good behaviour or finished work you can at least be sure that they’re priorities are in order.
Personally, I try to get a certain number of blogs done before I can check my messages, or I’ll leave it in another room while I work and only use it at lunch. Obviously, families need to set boundaries and discuss the rules before tech is introduced to younger children, but this is a great way to either let them explore the internet when their homework is done, or let them live in tech-free squalor if they fail a test.
It might be a huge part of our world now, but technology doesn’t have to completely dictate your life! If you’re trying to get your tech in check, then consider using a few or all of these practises to get a stronger hold on your schedule.1