Advances in technology have enabled us to extend our reach in both our business and personal lives. These advances have allowed businesses far more flexibility, empowering them to operate 24/7. Additionally, with social media and the likes of Skype and Zoom, it’s now much easier to stay in touch with friends, family and business colleagues around the world. In your business life, online solutions like the Bartercard mobile app can greatly expand your business network, helping you move old stock and increase profits.
However, technology also has the potential to overtake our attention. To be sure, many of today’s technologies are simply designed to do that, whether it’s through an app, a website page or via a new mobile device. Tech companies have found ways to keep us using their technology and have tapped into the FOMO theory – the Fear of Missing Out.
Mobile devices are convenient. They can help you run a business. You can check out the web, you can be entertained, and you can even make phone calls. The problem arises when we try to tame that technology so we can disengage and live more in the moment. But how do we that when these technologies are accessible 24/7? Experts suggest we introduce some limits. That may seem obvious, and you may even have tried to do it before, so here are some friendly reminders.
1. Note when technology is overrunning your life
How often do you find yourself caught in a loop of watching videos or looking at people’s photos over and over? How often are you in a rabbit hole of social media or news sites. How frequently are you in response mode, checking messages often and replying to everything right away? If you feel a bit addicted to Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Messenger/WhatsApp or feel like the time is right to dial it back, consider making a shortlist of sites, devices, and social media platforms to focus on. You can always add to this list should you notice other areas dominating your attention. From a work perspective, don’t be tempted to sit about each evening catching up on emails or documents. Take some time out, and focus on yourself.
2. Think of the simplicity you’d prefer
Are you happy with technology filling up your attention as it is right now? If so, there’s no need to simplify. But if you’d like to be more present, more connected to others, more focused on your meaningful work, more active outside of technology… then ask yourself how much you care about it. Are you really committed to change, or is it something you’ll just say you’re going to do? If you care about it, visualise the simplicity. What does that look like? What benefits will it bring to your life – both on a work level and personal?
3. Think of appropriate limits
If you want to limit your time on a particular social media platform, one limit might be to delete the app so you can’t check it on your phone. And you decide to only look at it on your web browser after 7PM. These are just examples — the right limit is one that works for you, but that creates the amount of simplicity and focus you’d like.
4. Write down your limits & share them with a peer
Writing down your limits will make you more accountable. For example, “I will only check Facebook once a day, from 5-6PM.” Make a list of all your limits in one place and share it with someone, so you are committed to these limits. Likewise, with business emails, check these at certain times of the day so you don’t get bogged down in everything that’s going on. Stay focused on the tasks you need to achieve that day.
5. Put your new limits to the test
Try these new limits for a week. Really commit to it, don’t just say you’re going to do it. Then actually try to stick to the limits. At the end of each day, reflect on how it went - did you manage to stick to them? Did anything get in the way? See how it goes each day for a week.
6. Adjust your goals as needed
Do you need to change the limits in some way to make them more doable? Or is there a way you can deepen your commitment? What reminders can you set? What accountability can you create? How can you adjust your method? Maybe other areas are coming up that you didn’t realize — reading blogs browsing through certain websites, perhaps. Add these to your list, set limits. Adjust each week.
Remember what’s important
At Bartercard, we understand that sometimes the best thing you can do for your business is to step away from the screen, and focus on what’s in front of you. While Bartercard can offer you a supportive network and helpful digital business solutions, the best business tool you have at your disposal is your own commitment. Contact Bartercard today for more helpful business tips.