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  • Writer's pictureAlex Young

5 ways to prevent tech related burn-out

Written by Favourite Position's Founder, Alex Young


Changing my relationship with my phone + laptop when I had a week off in between jobs at the end of 2021 is something I’m grateful for every day. I'm 100% sure that it has changed my life forever.


These 5 simple things have made me feel more connected with myself than ever. I'm happier than I can remember and than I thought possible.

Immediately:

I sleep better 💤

I can think more clearly 💭

I am making more effort to talk to those close to me via phone calls and meeting up, therefore having much deeper conversations ♥️


We are all aware of how addictive technology is and how it’s a double edged sword, one which so often we’re stabbing ourselves with and yet we’re wondering why we’re not feeling our best.


Whatever reason leads you to want to make changes to the way you use your tech, I applaud you. Changing habits and breaking away from systems designed to steal all your time (and make you feel inadequate, too) is easy in theory and extremely difficult in practise. I can’t recommend thinking about it and trialling different approaches enough.


Tip #1 - leave devices to charge in a different room 🔌


This first tip isn't hard at all. Find a spot outside the room for you to park all of your electronics whilst they charge. Even if you put your phone / iPad / laptop or whatever else onto silent mode, having them in the room you're in naturally creates the temptation to look at them, potentially thwarting your ability to focus entirely so keep it simple: if you don't need the device or it needs time to charge, put it away from you (as far away as possible).


Tip #2 - keep your phone out of your bedroom 📲


A technology free bedroom can enhance your sleep by preventing multiple problems associated with using electronic devices at night:

  • Using devices tends to delay the time when you actually go to sleep, reducing sleep duration

  • Technology affects the brain, stimulating your mind and making it harder to fall asleep

  • Sounds and blinking lights can cause unwanted awakenings when sleeping next to electronics

  • The blue light emitted by many devices disrupts the natural production of melatonin, a hormone that facilitates sleep and can throw off your circadian rhythm


Keep your phone out of your bedroom and use another form of alarm or, do as I do and have your phone close to your bedroom door so when the sound goes off in the morning, you still hear it and you have to get up to turn it off

Tip #3 - turn vibrations and as many notifications off ⚡️


During my most severe experience with burn out, vibrations on my phone going off felt so jarring that I genuinely felt my blood pressure going up each time. Turning off all vibrating notifications, even when my phone rings, has made me feel a lot calmer. I can hear the text and ring tone, if my phone isn't on silent, I don't need to have my whole body buzzed. And if my phone is on silent then there is a reason for that and I don't want to be buzzed and distracted.


Mental health resource community, Feel Good Club, wrote a recent post about how they turned on 'do not disturb' for 3 days to take a break from notifications and 3 months later, have decided they never want to turn it off. Their founder said 'it's genuinely the best thing I've done for my mental health this year, I was receiving so many notifications each day and I didn't realise how overwhelming that was until I got rid of them. I'm now calmer, clearer and far more present in my work and personal life.' Read the post here and have a think about whether you need your phone to vibrate you or notify you or whether you can instead be the boss of your tech and check it on your own terms...


Tip #4 - read a book at the end of the day instead of browsing online 📚


We all have different ways we wind down before bed, usually something quite mindless helps get us into a sleepy state. I used to browse clothes websites with no intention of buying anything and whilst that would get me to fall asleep, it was not the most valuable way of spending my time (to say the least) and would still involve being plugged into the online matrix. Instead, I end my day with a book in my hand - nothing too riveting, mind you, because I realised I find it most effective to learn in the morning when my brain is most away - so I drift off with something easy, light hearted and usually pretty positive in my hand.


One study found that just six minutes of reading reduced stress by up to 68%!


Tip #5 - stop the backlight on your phone lighting up every time it senses movement 💡 (a personal favourite)


The iPhone 6s and later models include a feature called Raise to Wake that senses when you pick up the device and then automatically flips on the display screen. Realising that noticing this made me feel I should check my phone every time the light came on was huge, something clicked in my head and I thought 'my phone is telling me to look at it and I don't actually want to'.


turn off raise to wake

If you don't want the iPhone's screen popping on every time you pick up the device, you can turn off the "Raise to Wake" feature in the iOS Display & Brightness settings. There are capabilities for turning this feature off on every smart phone.


Check after a week to see in the settings reports how much this one change reduces the number of times you pick your phone up and unlock it, it'll blow your mind.


Remember, you are the boss of your tech, not the other way around!


Feel free to reach out if you want to chat about any of this. It’s a topic so close to my heart and one I’d love to discuss further. Instead of tech related blues, I'll be soaking up as many natural blues as I can.



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