Switch off or burn out
Technology to help you switch offThrowing technology at a technology problem may seem counterproductive, but if this technology enables us to better understand our ‘screen time’ and disconnect from the office, then it has the potential to have a positive impact on our wellbeing. We have seen a recent trend in the development of features and tools to promote digital wellbeing. Google introduced wellbeing features as part of the Android operating system Pie, and Apple’s iOS 12 also features a Screen Time app. Although there is currently no proof that these wellbeing tools will change behaviours, understanding our habits and reflecting on them can be the first step to making positive changes in our relationship with technology.Here are some useful features, tools and tips that I identified when I was trying to address my work-life balance and ‘switch off’:
- Turn off your alerts: getting alerts at all times of the day can be stressful and distracting. You can use the Do not disturb function on your Apple or Android device to switch off alerts from all apps. If you want to manage this on an app by app basis then you can do this in the Settings.
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University of York online course,
Digital WellbeingView Course
- Send less email: research has found that, on average, people spend a third of their time in the office – and half the time they work at home – reading and responding to emails. All this time dedicated to emails can result in increased workload and stress. Later this week, Mike Dunn will talk in detail about the problem with email and offer some solutions.
- No phones rule: identify time when you won’t look at your phone. You might find it useful to have no phones in the bedroom so you can go to sleep and wake up without the distraction of technology, or no phones at the dinner table to encourage interactions with your family.
- 15 minute rule: when you get home, for the first 15 minutes do something that will take your mind off work and make you happy! If straight after work doesn’t work for you, pick a different time that does. This is a technique picked up from readings of positive psychology and mindfulness. The Action for Happiness website provides useful tips and activities that you could consider using for your 15 minutes.
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