I was recently traveling in the Colorado Rockies “off the grid” with no cellular service and no Internet access — unless I took a hike up the hill to the pasture and stood under the big pine tree, where I was able to access three bars on my smartphone. I wonder if this is how the indigenous felt when they sent out their smoke signals. … It’s amazing how much technology rules our life and distracts our focus, yet, as business owners, how dependent we have become to staying plugged in and connected to our phones and our devices 24/7.
Being a problem responder and not a problem reactor is at the core of stress resilience techniques and strategies that I offer through my stress management programs. The downside of our technology dependency is that it often pulls us out of presence and distracts our attention from those around us.
Technology as a Source of Stress
As important as technology is to our workflow, it can also be the source of our stress. The paradox is that we rely on our technology tools to track the many things on our to-do list and to communicate with others, but, just when we are in a productive rhythm, an email comes in that we need to respond to or our phone alert goes off with a text or social media alert.
The distraction from our devices as we stay connected to our business demands a constant split attention that can be energy draining and derail our efficiency. Ultimately, the resulting competing priorities will lead to overwhelm and lack of productivity, which will create burnout and suppress our creativity. This is the downside of how technology efficiency tools can contribute to our stress.
So where is the balance of staying connected to your business and focused on the task at hand? This is a real issue among many in our society. Technology has completely taken over the time together, and disconnection on the human level takes place. And, as we communicate more and more to each other over our devices, how often do we miscommunicate the tone through text messages and email? Clear communication requires listening with presence and focus so we can support the needs of our customer or client.
Removing the Paradox
We can invest in our SELF-Care by setting personal boundaries around our technology tools. Many of us have a subconscious habit, like an addiction, to mindlessly check our smartphones for alerts and calls frequently during the day. What if you apply some mindfulness practices around your smartphone and try to remove the paradox?
Below are six tips to help establish Technology Self-Care practices to free yourself from distraction and step outside the technology paradox. No need to add to your stress by tackling these all at once! Choose a few to try out, and see how establishing some healthy boundaries around your devices can relieve stress and free your mind from distraction, allowing you to have more energy to spend that focus on other things — like those you enjoy spending time with!
6 Tips to Free Yourself from Technology Distraction
- Take your lunch break away from your desk. Eat lunch without your phone or computer to distract you. Taking a technology break in your day can help you to gain an energy boost and to reset your mind from all the noise.
- Turn off your phone when you go to bed at night and leave it in another room. Don’t bring your business calls into your sanctuary.
- When exercising, leave your phone in the locker so you can stay focused.
- Turn your phone to silent while at the table. You can be more mindful with your food and more present with your table companions.
- Set a timer for 20- to 30-minute segments of focused project time to not allow any distractions such as email or text messages for that window of time.
Sara Regester, stress mastery expert, is the founder of Directions 4 Wellness, and creator of the “Turn Your Stress into Success” programs that promote Stress Resiliency to support success-driven individuals in how to be successful without wiping themselves out from stress. Her highly transformative programs are available to individuals and businesses. Click here to download her free e-book, The True Cost of Stress.
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