When running a digital business, we must ask ourselves this daily: Is technology using me, or am I using it?
Even mentioning the phrase “Work/Life Balance” is met with a smirk by most people. But why has maintaining some separation between the personal and the professional become such a punch line?
And then layer on top of that the digital revolution. Our smartphones, multiple email addresses, and Apple watches make us available any time of night or day. No longer is the act of leaving the office or powering off a laptop a signal that the workday is complete.
Being disciplined about avoiding technology is easier said than done. Technology is hard-wired to be persuasive and addictive. The buzzing notifications, the pop-ups, the tormenting red bubbles: that’s the point.
So what’s to be done?
Presence is so significant. When you are doing something, give it your 100%. If you are chatting with a friend, then engage. Why not try moving your phone out of view? If you are eating lunch, then eat lunch—taste it, chew it, enjoy it. If you need extra stimulation, why not try reading a book or doing a crossword?
Find small ways to make space in your day to escape your phone. When logged into a Barre Series class, close all other notifications and focus on fitness. Let the exercise be your only mental task for that moment.
Another minor tweak that can significantly impact is going back to basics. Test out managing your time through an old-fashioned paper monthly planner or write your daily to-do lists on a pad of paper. It’s helpful to see everything mapped out before you; it might even reveal something unexpected. And there is no greater joy than taking a plump red pen and crossing off an item as completed on your list.
Finally, try and create a bedtime routine. There’s an apt piece of wisdom that your day starts the night before—and it is so true. So if you can, cut back on Netflix and the mindless scrolling and opt for a book or meditation exercise; your sleep hygiene and waking self will reap many benefits. Buy an analogue alarm clock and leave your phone in a separate room. You might just be surprised by the results.