Screen-time continues to be a hot topic around the globe. Despite new moderation legislation coming out, the big tech companies being increasingly scrutinized, and a growing awareness of the dark side of a tech overdose, the usage of smartphones, social media and other digital tech continues to rise.
While these movements are taking place at a societal level, there is so much that you as an individual can do to make sure that you have a healthy relationship with tech – and there is so much to gain!
I provide many such tips and strategies in my new book Tech-Life Balance: 101 Ways to Thrive in a Digital World. Below are 5 easy ways anyone can do to help them.
#1 – Set Digital Boundaries
It’s important to set limits on how much time you spend online, especially on social media which is designed to keep us on their platforms. You can do this by scheduling specific times for checking emails, browsing social media, or using other digital devices, and using your devices to set app limits (and not override them)! Setting boundaries can help you focus on other aspects of your life and reduce the amount of time you spend online.
#2 – Practice Mindful Use of Technology
Before using your phone or computer, take a moment to ask yourself why you’re using it. Is it to communicate with someone or for work? Or are you mindlessly scrolling through social media? Practicing mindful use of technology can help you use it more intentionally and reduce the time you spend on unproductive or unhealthy activities. And once you have made the decision to use it, make sure that is what you do use it for and not get sidetracked into something else!
#3 – Take Breaks
It’s important to take breaks from digital devices throughout the day. This can help you reduce eye strain, improve your posture, and even prevent burnout. You can take a short walk, a couple of deep breaths, or do something else that you enjoy which doesn’t require screen time. Even if your work requires you to be in front of a computer most of the day, find a few minutes every hour to stretch and give your eyes a break.
#4 – Use Technology to Improve your Well-Being
Having tech-life balance means realizing that technology can also work for you. There are many digital tools and apps that can help you improve your mental and physical health. For example, you can use mindfulness apps, fitness trackers, or meditation apps to help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being. The recent proliferation of AI technology is also seeing a lot of innovative tools to improve productivity and other well-being parameters.
#5 – Build Human Connections
While technology can help us connect with others, it’s important to also build connections in the analog world, which research shows is essential for our well-being. This can include spending time with friends and family, joining social clubs, or participating in community events. Building human connections can help you feel more fulfilled and reduce the amount of time you spend on digital devices. Of course, by all means, you can use the devices to find people to connect to in the outside world!
Whether you try one, a few, or all five of these healthy habits, make sure to focus on what you are getting, not what you are giving up. Research shows over and over again that small steps to improve our digital well-being leads to increased overall well-being, focus, and even happiness.
For more similar strategies and tips, check out my new book Tech-Life Balance: 101 Ways to Thrive in a Digital World.
Taíno Bendz is the founder of Phone Free Day and his own consulting business, and his message on mindful and intentional technology usage has reached and inspired hundreds of thousands of people around the world. He is a public speaker, workshop facilitator, and conducts research on digital technology usage. Taíno holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management and has spent the last 10 years working in technology sectors such as renewable energy, healthcare IT, and software automation. He currently lives in Sweden with his family. He is the author of Tech-Life Balance.