Archives for July 20, 2012

I Love Technology. But Put It Away!

The last few days my husband and I have had some eye opening discussions about how much time we spend on our computers, phones, watching TV, Netflix, etc. And even worse, how we are teaching our son that he constantly needs to be watching movies or playing games.

I think I realized my {possible} technology addiction one night when I felt  like I couldn’t stop replying to emails so I could read my son a book.
Maybe you guys aren’t like that and you reading this quietly judging me.
Or maybe you are exactly like that and we can all join a support group together.

Either way, I wanted to share with you 3 important things to do to stop technology from taking over your life and allow you to spend more time with those you love.

1. Turn Off the Computer. 

Obviously right? But seriously, just turn it completely off!
Not just hibernating. Not just putting the screen down on your laptop. But actual select SHUT DOWN.
I have found that when I know my computer it totally off, it is not as easy for me to just get on and off throughout the day. I am not tempted to lift up my screen a little bit to go over a quick email while my son eats his breakfast.
Instead, I know I need to have an actual time allotted for the computer which helps me balance time with my family.

Which brings me to my next point…

2. Create a Schedule 

Set aside a time during the day that you are allowed to get on the computer, watch your favorite shows, play Words with Friends, etc. For me, I have two different pockets of time where I work on the computer: during nap time in the afternoon and then in the evening after dinner {hopefully after my son is in bed} and after my husband and I have had the chance to connect and talk about the day.
This has helped me be a lot more present in my interactions with my son throughout the day and also stay a little more organized with my work.
Instead of stressing throughout the day and wasting time at the computer screen, I know that I have between 1pm-3pm to be able to do as much work as possible. If I don’t get everything done, I have another chance later in the day as well.

It is not always easy to follow a schedule.
There are times where I know I need to answer questions more quickly so I get on the computer in the morning.
Or my husband wants to watch a movie in the evening so I don’t get to be on the computer.
{or… *ahem* I decide to take a nap myself during nap time as well}
But I try to at least keep to my schedule as much as possible so I can get the most work done without neglecting my family at the same time.

3. Turn Off Your Notifications {or better yet, just turn off your phone!} 

I think most people these days have an iPhone or some kind of Droid phone.
These are mini computers in our hands and we can easily become addicted to the constant connection with the online community.
I know the phone is my biggest flaw and I do spend quite a bit of time on it at home or away.
As much as a love hearing that little *BING* from my phone that makes me feel like someone actually likes me
{confidence problems}
it can be quite distracting!
So I have turned most of my notifications.
[I sometimes keep email on for work but not when I’m out]
No Facebook updates.
No Twitter updates.
No Instagram updates.
No Words With Friends updates.

Then when we are watching a movie or out doing something, I {try} to put my phone away and not check it every minutes. This helps me not be so attached to this thing and be ever in the moment with my family.

And that really is the whole point of all of this,
to never regret a lost moment with my family. 

I know I have a long ways to go!
{just ask my husband}
But I hope that this is the start to a new chapter, that I can try to be more present in every day occasion.

I’m sure there are a lot more tips to add on how to not let technology take over your life.
What are some things you would add to the list?
How are you able to create a better balance in your life?
I would love to hear your advice!