So what is “digital wellness?” 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.
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! It introduces stress and removes focus from the conversation.
5. Manage notifications. Determine which apps have the right to take your attention. 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.