Stop technology controlling you

This article is written for me, and people like me. People who get distracted. People who think social media is a good thing.

I can hold back on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest … my drug is FaceBook. It’s how I keep in touch with my friends, how I find out what’s going on – gigs to go to, evenings out.

I like reading about what’s going on in peoples lives. Working at home it can be lonely, I don’t get the ‘watercooler’ moments so when others chat to co-workers, I’m scrolling down my feed for a few minutes while I take a break. Made worse as I get my news from updates from The Independent newspaper online.

Could I stop? I have gone back to a newspaper subscription (a benefit of now being a student, I get a significant discount) but what about my friends. Would it work with a WhatsApp group?  It works for a regular evening out with friends, but not for my wider network of friends. Would we really share things when we don’t have the option to click, interested, against an event.

So, I need to manage my time.

I’ve done it with my phone – I keep it on silent, don’t get vibrate notifications and I need to look at it to see if I’ve missed anything.

I’ve done it with emails – unsubscribing from all the newsletters I rarely read.  

But the one I can’t give up is FaceBook.

I’m trying to control it more. To limit my time. I did take it off my phone, but I like to use the ‘check-in’ option so it is back on.

I’m now waiting till I’ve completed a task – to wait and not to break off from concentration. Then I can reward myself with a 5-minute browse. Or maybe not. Maybe I should limit myself to lunchtime and early evening.  I’ve tried it before but there can be too much to scroll through, but time to try this again. 

I am good at not looking at my phone when I’m with someone. To concentrate on the conversation, not thinking on what I may be busy.

I have looked at my phone – Facebook, while queueing, it seems like a good use of my time, but maybe I’d be better to allow this as time just to be … to allow thoughts to come into my head or to keep my head free of distractions.

Am I using social media because I’m bored? Or has it become a habit. I think it’s a bit of both.

What about you? How much effect does technology have on you?

The opposite of distraction is traction

I’d forgotten this.

Traction takes us to where we want to be. To move towards a goal. We can have small reminders to do things. My Apple Watch tells me to stand if I’ve been sitting for too long.

With the imminent start of my doctoral studies, I’m getting better at planning my time, deciding in advance the tasks that I will complete in a day. So I’ve moved from a long, never ending to do list to listing the tasks that are my priority for the day.

I prioritise my fitness, making sure I do exercise each day. Time is in my diary. I schedule time with my friends.

And now I schedule time per task

I give myself a set amount of time to complete a task. If I don’t complete within that time, I can decide to reschedule other activity, or leave it till the next day. It’s only been refocused on this approach for a few days, but it’s working for me. I’m getting more done, I’m more effective, I’m not drifting through my day.

I’ll keep you updated, and would love to know what the impact is on you.

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

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