I love my laptop and, even though it took convincing to leave my flip phone for a smart version, I love my phone too. However, sometimes notifications popping up on a screen can make me feel overwhelmed and I used to just put my phone in a drawer, only to open it again when I heard another *ping!* Now I do things differently.
Instead of shoving your phone in a drawer when it's overwhelming you with noises, vibrations and messages you probably don't need to reply to right now, try these tips.
1. Try having a calm inbox.
Try checking your inbox just twice a day, once in the morning, and once at night. 10AM and 3PM are good times to answer any emails that need your attention and file away, or delete any others. You’ll find you inbox is less cluttered, and you actually process your email better when you’ve made time to sit and read them, rather than scrolling through them on the train. You’ll also want to turn off your email notifications on your phone, otherwise the calm inbox idea doesn’t work!
Tip: If a calm inbox just isn’t an option for your work inbox, try just doing it for your personal one. You can also change the level of calm by checking it 4 times a day if it suits you better.
2. Turn off unnecessary push notifications
Do you really care that someone you went to high school with just liked the same photo as you? No. Unless you’re a social media manager, the notifications from facebook, twitter and Instagram aren’t urgent.
Check them when you’re ready, not when your device tells you to. Without that *ping* interrupting your chat, coffee, drive or ‘me time,’ you’ll have more undivided attention directed at whatever you’re doing.
3. Change your ring tones
Just the sound of certain ring tones can put us on edge, so choose a round, bubbly sound rather than a shrill, hectic tone. If you can’t find one you like, there are plenty to buy online. Choosing a ringtone that starts softly and builds in volume can work too.
4. Delete those apps
Do you still play Angry Birds? If you do, never mind. But if you don’t? Delete it! On a tablet, laptop or smartphone screen, seeing pages and pages of apps can seem overwhelming. The feeling that you just can’t deal with everything in your life is made worse with too many choices, options and clutter. Ditch any apps you don’t use. You won’t miss them.
5. Turn it off or on silent & face down at bedtime
As you drift slowly into a deep sleep, there’s nothing worse than *ping!* ‘someone liked your photo.’ Tech is being blamed for why so many people are sleeping badly, so don’t get sucked into the trap. If you’re reluctant to turn your phone off, put it on silent (not vibrate) and place it face down. That way you’ll still get your messages in the morning and your alarm will still go off, but your evening slumber will go undisturbed.
Technology is here to make our lives easier, so don’t let it get in the way.
What have you tried to de-stress your tech?