Having a business that involves staying current with online trends and digital updates requires me to spend a lot on time… well… online. It also requires that I remain mindful of my time online so I can reap the benefits technology has to offer but also stay grounded to what matters most. After the loss of my beloved bulldog, then suffering through the sudden death of my dad, followed by my resignation from a successful career, I have come to realize where I want to invest my energy.
Experiencing life with my family, connecting with thoughtful, passionate people and staying rooted to nature are my priorities. By committing to these values, the grieving process has directed me on a path that involves being very mindful about where I place my attention.
Technology has evolved in such a way that we can now use our digital devices to help us take back control of our time. Being mindful of how technology assists us with the demands of every day living is one step. Noticing how our actions online and the relationship we have with our tech is the the next step.
If you feel like you could benefit from a bit of a digital detox or you would like to be more connected to those things that matter most to you, here are some useful apps that promote a more mindful online experience:
Moment - allows you to keep track of how long you are spending on your device. The first week after I downloaded this app, I averaged 3 hours a day. I’m happy to say this last week the average time I spent looking at my phone every day was 1 hour and 37 minutes.
Forest - takes the temptation away from checking your phone while you are trying to work. A tree or bush is planted when you start the timer and start working. That tree will die if you interrupt its growing process - by becoming distracted and checking another app. Being a nature lover, this app really resonated with me and also increased my productivity!
Stop, Breathe & Think - lets you check in with how you are feeling that day. You can then select a meditation that is best suited for your emotions. It’s easy to take 5 minutes out of your day to check in and improve your mental health. I also like that there is a kids section in this app. These meditations are short and ideally suited for younger kids (5-10 years).
Bedtime feature on the iOS Clock app - it will send you a reminder that it is “Time for Bed.” I have my reminder set for 60 minutes before my ideal bedtime. This reminder triggers me to put away my phone and laptop and start getting ready for bed. Sixty minutes is an appropriate amount of tech-free time so you can get a decent night’s sleep. Otherwise it is easy to get lost on social media or the google machine. Before you know it, you have traded some much needed shut eye for a website that will still be there the next day.
While technology keeps us connected and up-to-date, it can also keep us disconnected. Notice how you can incorporate a bit of mindfulness to your digital habits and place your attention on what matters most to you.