08 Apr 6 ways to apply mindfulness to your tech habits
When it comes to tech, there are certain areas of our lives that we cannot escape it. For many of us, technology is required for work. It would be unfathomable (and frankly, unreasonable) for you to ditch tech at work.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a better relationship with tech at all times. We’re strong advocates of being the bosses of our devices, not the other way around.
You can apply mindfulness techniques to your tech habits, ensuring that your relationship with tech improves – as well as your health and mental wellbeing.
#1 Be aware of your habits
The most fundamental starting point for changing any habit is recognising that you have one in the first place. You cannot confront a problem if you’re ignoring it.
Make sure you’re aware of how much time you’re spending on certain tasks and sites, without trying to shirk from it. If you spent four hours on Facebook, recognise it. Only then can you start to work towards correcting it.
#2 Stay on task
One of the biggest ways you can apply mindfulness to your tech habits is to ensure that you stay focused. All too many of us have fallen into a Wikipedia black hole and looked up from our laptops about three hours later in a slight daze.
Being aware of how much time you spend on certain sites is the first step. Making sure you know exactly what sites you’re logging onto and why, and ensuring that you know how much time to spend to spend on a specific activity.
If you’re going to spend 10 minutes answering emails – make sure you spend only 10 minutes answering emails. Nothing more, nothing less.
#3 Curb your notifications
This is one of the biggest ways to cut down your screen time and something that we recommend as one of the first steps to digital detox. You don’t need a notification for everything that happens on your phone. They’re distracting you from being in the present moment, even if you don’t reply to them, and they’re making you stressed.
Instead, turn them all off – except the important ones. You don’t need to know about each new social media posting or news event. Check them only when you have dedicated the time to do so.
#4 Monitor your time on social media
Social media can be a great tool, there is no doubt about it. It can help connect people from all over the world. But there is a downside to it. High levels of social media usage have been linked to depression.
Are you aware of how much time you spend on social media? Being aware of your habits is one of the first steps of being mindful. Once you’re aware of how much time you spend on social media, you can start to think about how that makes you feel.
Staying off social media is proven to leave you feeling happier, and with a lot more time on your hands.
#5 Be mindful of places which could be no-tech zones
Make sure that you’re taking some time to be disconnected from devices. You don’t need to constantly scroll or reply to emails in all areas of your life. By designating no-phone zones in your home (commonly areas such as the bedroom and dinner table) you’ll ensure that you’re not mindlessly scrolling when you should be doing something else – such as sleeping, or connecting with your family or loved ones.
#6 Support existing healthy habits
Tech isn’t all bad, and in some cases it can definitely help support your existing healthy and mindfulness habits. There are a myriad of different health-based apps for your phone, but it doesn’t even have to be as complicated as that.
Every time your phone buzzes – which hopefully won’t be very often if you’ve reduced those pesky notifications – why not take that little buzz as a reminder to pause and settle for a moment? Take that moment to yourself, to reflect and be mindful about what’s happened in the day.