Imagine that you go to bed and wake up without your phone. Now imagine that you don’t have a PC, a tablet, and a TV neither. It’s just you, your room, and nothing else that connects you to the external environment. Weird feeling, right? Well, that’s how people used to live before the technological era kicked in.
We’re now experiencing a digital expansion of everything. We could call it the “technological era”, or the “digital era”. In the present moment, the internet is the organ that allows us to connect, find and consume information, pay our bills, work, and basically do a lot of things, all through a digital space that’s available to almost all of us.
Technology Comes with a Price
However, these smart technologies come with a price. We could be reserved and say that today’s technology tools and possibilities are distracting us, but that’s just a very small version of the real truth.The digital environment is both helpful and destructive at the same time.
It is destructive because it has the power to soak us of all our energies, to draw our attention towards unimportant things, and to make us forget about what’s really important and where -we, as humans- started first.
It is helpful because every field of activity can be improved, our communication with each other is faster and better, and of course, it’s helpful because we can now get access to an unlimited amount of information.
During today’s post, we’re going to address a very important issue: life balance in the age of smart technologies. Quite a lot of people report that they feel overwhelmed and stuck in a negative cycle that adapts disempowering habits.
One of the main reasons for this happening is the excessive use of smart technologies. Therefore, if you want to maintain a healthy and balanced life, you must learn how to create and sustain a balanced lifestyle in which technology doesn’t soak the majority of your time, attention, and energy.
1. Approach a Minimalistic Lifestyle
The minimalistic lifestyle is, in simple words, a person’s intention to promote the things he values most, all while removing the unessential. When we’re speaking of technology, applying a minimalistic use of it is going to bring many advantages.
For example, you might be using 3 social media networks. One of them is truly essential because you use it for work, interaction, and other important duties. The other two, well, you use them, but they’re not that important. In this case, choosing to eliminate the “unessential” will leave you with just one network.
The benefits? More time to focus on what’s important and fewer distractions. Take this example and apply it to every digital activity, tool, or device.
2. Disconnect Every Now and Then
Today’s generation of people report feelings of stress, overwhelm, and exhaustion on a very frequent basis. If you think about it, it’s almost logical. We’re always connected to the digital sphere. We have no moment of rest, and we’re rarely disconnecting ourselves from technology.
When was the last time you fully disconnected yourself from everything that is considered technology? This includes your phone, your internet connection, and your desire to be connected and available.
The best way to “recharge your batteries” is to refuse to use technology for a certain amount of time. You can do so by going on a trip, taking a vacation, or simply disconnecting from everything – just like that.
3. Spend more Time in Nature
I frequently used the term “connection”. We’re connected to the smart technology in an interesting way. Yet, that is not the only form of connection that we can have. Instead of connecting to the internet, we can instead connect with nature.
Imagine walking in the forest. Birds are singing, you feel countless natural smells, and the trees’ leaves are shining and delivering light to the amazing flowers and mushrooms that are living on the warm ground.
Nature’s environment is the best place to be when you’re trying to disconnect from all the technology that’s surrounding you.
4. Don’t Be Available All the Time
Nowadays, everyone’s expecting you to be present. Normally, it would be terrible if you would be unreachable through your phone or Facebook. When people expect you to answer the phone or reply that e-mail, you suddenly adopt a terrible belief: the belief that you must be available and reachable all the time.
Stop. You don’t have to do that. Instead of letting others control your life, you should set some clear boundaries and decide the amount of time you’ll dedicate to other people during your day. For example, you can turn off your phone and internet connection during the early hours of your morning. Once you’re done with your productive routine, you can then become available to others. Until then, keep that time for yourself!
5. Eliminate Time-Wasters and Stay Focused
Let’s not forget that today’s digital technology is super toxic in terms of distractions and time-wasting activities. Instant messages, notifications, e-mails…these are all popping up during our normal days. We experience them when we eat, work, and sleep.
Again, most of us feel obliged to reply to requests and to be present whenever we’re asked for. This is a problem, as we tend to forget that our time is more important than everything else. We allow simple distractions to get in the way of our focus and productivity, so our daily performance decreases.
Nevertheless, make sure that you reduce the amount of time spent on games, videos, and digital applications. These are all distracting factors that could potentially become part of your daily lifestyle. Of course, these are all addictive activities, so they’ll make you lose your focus.
6. Always Pay Attention to Your Sources
There’s simply too much information on the web right now. One of the main issues comes when you have no idea which source is credible or not. Normally, you’d think that the surplus of information is beneficial for everyone who wants to grow. However, many Millennials report that they are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know how to choose the right information.
Whenever you’re researching something, working on something, or reading something on the internet, make sure that you check the sources. Don’t believe everything you see, and make sure to filter every piece of information as carefully as possible.
7. Be Alone Once in A While
Because we’re always connected to the technology, we start to hate being alone. To be alone is a very natural state of being that most of the today’s generation is afraid of. When you take the bus, please pay attention to what people are doing. Most of the times, they’re either listening to music, scrolling on social feeds, or messaging with other people.
You need to be alone in order to put your thoughts in order. You should perform a weekly introspection. Talk with yourself, analyze your progress, and figure out which aspects of your life need to be improved, or simply contemplate on your life. You can even practice meditation if you want to.
My point is that there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to being alone. In fact, this simple practice should you balance your life big time.
8. Don’t Forget to Appreciate the Technological Breakthroughs
If the previous mentions were supposed to minimize the damage that today’s technology could potentially bring, this tip is a little different.
Technology keeps advancing whether you like it or not. Soon enough we’ll have robots at our hands, we’ll experience amazing virtual worlds, and we’ll be able to improve the average length of our lives.
These are all benefits that should be appreciated and leveraged as much as possible. Instead of believing that technology is hurtful, you need to get to that slim line between the normal use of technology and the excessive use of it.
No matter what the society does or says, you should follow your own routine and dictate your own terms. You can live in a world where technology is everything, but you can minimize its importance and use it as much as you please. Keep our tips into consideration and start applying them as soon as possible!
You’ll soon notice short term benefits in your moods, energies, and thoughts. Pay attention to your habits, and always stay aware that a balance in your every day’s technology use is essential for a fruitful lifestyle.
This post is contributed by Jade Parker. She is a personal coach and brand manager; she helps millennials find balance and productivity in their lives. Besides that, she is a contributor at Assignment Masters. If only half of the population had 10% more interest in the well-being of today’s society, “everything would look totally different” after her sayings.