Do you find yourself checking email, surfing the internet, and scanning social media to avoid working on other, probably more important, things? Technology is a wonderful procrastination tool, and that phone you can’t stop looking at all day is undoubtedly the culprit. It’s time to reduce overwhelm from technology!
Do You Have Smartphone-itis?
It’s everywhere, smartphone-itis, that is. It happens while dining with a friend, walking down the street, and doing chores at home. Our cell phones interrupt us 24/7! You know you have smartphone-itis when you’re constantly reaching for your phone to respond to the next email, text message, or social media notification. Smartphone-itis can even cause a panic attack if you can’t find your phone. Because you feel like your phone is part of your body, you feel like you’ve lost a limb if you misplace it.
Could it be that your phone runs your life instead of the other way around? Maybe you spend your entire day reacting to other people’s priorities because you respond immediately to whatever notification pops up on your phone. Ask yourself, “Is everything on my smartphone that much of an emergency?”
Perhaps you feel like being at the beck and call of your phone gives you a sense of self-importance. Surely you must be terribly important if all those people online are talking about you and trying to reach you. Is technology keeping you from being an organized, productive person with a tidy home? You know what I mean, that tidy home you’ve always wanted but never seem to have.
Solutions to Reducing Overwhelm from Technology
- Remove social media apps from your phone if the only thing they do is waste your time.
- Turn off all notifications on your phone except for texts or calls from those people who need to reach you in an emergency.
- Leave your phone in your pocket, purse, or even your car when you go out with friends and family.
- When you’re at home, keep your phone in a designated location in your kitchen or home office.
- Decide exactly how to use your phone to be more efficient. Use it for phone calls, music, navigation, or anything that serves a defined purpose.
Technology is everywhere and goes everywhere with us, but let’s see if we can take control of our devices instead of having them control us. We can’t make up for the time we have lost staring at the screen, checking to see what everyone else is doing. However, I think we can decide to spend the next minute, the next hour, and the next day paying attention to what we are doing or who we are with at this moment.
The Negative Effects of Constant Interruptions
Did you know that one of the negative effects of constant interruptions from technology is that your IQ can decrease? Constant distractions can also lead to symptoms similar to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We are bombarded night and day by email, instant messages, texts, blog updates, news feeds, tweets, and websites with enticing content. And, the bad news is that people are inventing more cool gadgets and thousands more apps every day. So, in addition to the tips listed above, here is what we can do if we want some sanity and time to work on a few organizing projects. (Yes, that is a hint!).
It’s Time to Unplug and Get Stuff Done
The answer is simple, yet it’s not so simple. Unplug yourself from technology – even the television (if you still watch it). Turn off all phones and devices that beep, ping, or otherwise disrupt your world. I ask that you start small. Perhaps begin with one hour a day and build up from there. Now, imagine the possibilities! You may have time to start and finish a project. You may even prevent a crisis by having time to think and plan ahead.
Even unplugged time needs to be planned. Choose a time of day when you have good energy to tackle a project and are mentally at your best. Remember, don’t even be tempted to check a text or do a quick post on a social media channel because we both know you’ll get sucked in. Before you know it, that time you set aside to remove the winter coats and boots from the front entry closet and replace them with your spring gear will be gone.
I’m willing to bet you started that project by pulling everything out, piling it on the floor, and getting as far as putting the spring jackets and footwear in the front closet. And then, it happened. You got tired and bored even though the project was mostly finished except for putting away the winter stuff. You abandoned that not-so-fun-anymore task in favour of somebody calling, texting, or posting something fun on their newsfeed. If you think pretty much anything is more interesting than finishing your organizing project; it’s time to call me. I can help you reduce overwhelm from technology, refocus, and take control of your home and your life!