May 6th is Digital Wellness Day. It is an opportunity to optimize your relationship with technology and those around you.
Call it a motivator, catalyst, or excuse. It is a great chance to reflect on your current “digital well-being,” and if, how and why you would like it to improve. It could be as simple as just going about your day exactly as you would normally but thinking about how you feel digital tech is affecting, perhaps stressing you, in any way or taking away attention from what you want to focus on.
Or, it can be a day to try out and start building new habits.
So what is digital well-being? For me, it’s all about maintaining a “tech-life balance” by understanding how digital technology affects 4 pillars in my life–Focus, Mental Health, Physical Health, and Relationships–and how to balance these using technology while minimizing the negative effects.
Here are some of my favorite small hacks that anyone can do to help:
1. Have a Phone-Free Bedroom
Daunting to some, easy for others. One study suggests that doing this can improve happiness, quality of life, sleep, and relationships, and reduce anxiety – in just one week!
2. Put the Phone Away When Engaging in Conversation or Doing Work
One study suggests that the difference in productivity can be as high as 26% when comparing having the phone on the desk to having it in another room while performing a task. Other studies also point out that our social relationships and experiences improve if we do not have the phone present.
3. Be a Role Model
Do you get frustrated with your kids always being on their phones? Or colleagues scrolling through meetings? Be the change you want to see! It is a lot easier to help others change by showcasing the desired behavior ourselves.
4. Turn Off “Self View” in Video Meetings
Not your video, so people can still see you, but just so you don’t see yourself! Did you know that plastic surgery massively increased during the past couple years as a result of seeing ourselves close-up a lot more? It also introduces stress and removes focus from the conversation.
5. Manage Notifications
Determine which apps have the right to take your attention. Which do you really need to be notified of straight away? Turn off any non-essential notifications or use functions in the phone to batch them. It has been found that just turning off email notifications can lower your heart rate and stress.
6. Consider Your Information Intake
Staying up-to-date with news and events is important, but think about how often and how much information you consume. Think critically about whether the information actually is essential, adds value to you, changes your decisions, or just makes you feel worse.
You can find tons of advice and resources and officially take the Digital Wellness pledge at digitalwellnessday.com. However, the takeaway here is that you can do any and all of these hacks any day. You don’t need a special day to take stock of your tech-life balance.
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.
To receive news about Taíno’s upcoming book on Tech-Life Balance, go to tainobendz.com/book