7 Technology Habits To Create More Mental Space
My husband was just written up in Sunday's New York Times (had to sneak that in), saying among other things that responsiveness is key to his organization. I couldn't be more proud but let me say now if response time was key to our relationship we wouldn't have made it past our first month of dating. I have a love hate relationship with technology as I can end up on Lori Laughlin's (Aunt Becky from Full House) daughter's best friend's Instagram without blinking but I'm the worst at email, text or call response times and it causes a level of subconscious guilt and worry.
So when Jayne Beilby and I connected, her path and philosophy on technology resonated. Jayne is a mother to two and took a pause from her career until her children transitioned into school and then founded Tech Tonic - think Marie Kondo (Author of Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) for technology.
Here is what Jayne has to say about managing technology as a part of our life:
I passionately believe that we should only have what we need, and that applies to all areas of ours lives. As mothers, I find we all have extensive to-do lists. A lot of which only enables us to maintain the status quo, rather than make progress. By using technology smartly, you can set it up and forget it, freeing up mental and digital space to create balance in your life and focus on things that really matter.
Here are my top tips to be smart with your technology and make it work for you!
Back Up (Not sexy but absolutely essential!)
You don't want to lose those precious memories! Can you imagine losing your children’s photos? Back up your phone to the cloud, not to your Mac though as this takes up a HUGE amount of space. For your Mac, the rule is to store information in 3 places, so you NEVER have to worry about it getting lost again. Get a dedicated external hard drive, set up Time Machine and also back up to the Cloud.
’One Touch’ Concept
When an email comes in, deal with it immediately or mark it as unread, so you know you need to deal with it later. Trying to remember what you need to do without having a system in place is exhausting and stressful, leading us to suddenly remembering things at weird times of day and night. And then who can fall back to sleep?
Cull your junk email with unroll.me and stop the emails at source. Enter your email address and it scans that mailbox. It will ask you if you want to keep subscriptions in you inbox, roll up on a summary or unsubscribe. I got rid of 43 subscriptions instantly!! Genius.
Clean your desktop
Did you last see your desktop image when your computer was shiny and new?
When you open your laptop and see a screen littered with documents, its stressful and highly distracting. Create a file structure in your documents. This should be how you would file and find things if you had a filing cabinet. I suggest 5-10 high level files e.g. Financial, Family, Household, Travel, Official Doc’s, School etc. Move EVERYTHING off your desktop because every item stored here slows it down. Just drag and drop files into your shiny new folders. Anything you don’t need, delete, delete, delete! Choose a beautiful image for your desktop, one that makes you smile, so you start work on a positive note.
Do not use your phone as your alarm to wake up - studies show that you turn to the most important thing in your life when you wake up. Make it a human ;)
Do use it as an alarm to GO to bed - there is a lovely feature in Clock called Bedtime. The alarm sounds are happy and a nice reminder to stop surfing/binge watching etc and get some sleep!
Turn down the blue light which fools your brain into thinking that its still daytime. This interferes with your circadian rhythm and keeps you awake! And lets face it, we don’t need anything extra interfering with our precious sleep. Go to settings, Brightness and select Nightshift and your screen color is automatically adjusted and you won't notice. You can also do the same on your Mac if you download Flux https://justgetflux.com
Turn off email and social media alerts. Try deleting social media apps from your phone and see how much more time you have. You can always download them again if the withdrawal is too much. At the very least, bury them in a folder called ‘Time Wasting’ to reduce temptation!