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Top Tips On How To Avoid Digital Burnout

Improve Your Digital Wellness

Leigh Gillatt  •  Careers Advice

Top Tips On How To Avoid Digital Burnout


Digital wellness refers to the state of a person’s physical and mental health in the Digital Age we live in now, or put simply, the use of technology such as mobiles, social media and the internet in ways that promotes healthy usage and frequency, rather than just mindless scrolling. Lets face it mindless scrolling is more often than not a complete waste of time, but more worrying is the fact that excessive use of tech, in particular social media, can quite easily lead to mental health problems for some, such as jealousy, anxiety, and even depression.

Its well known that over the past few months, the COVID-19 issue has meant that many of us have spent even more time on our devices and a lot less time with friends and family. Whether that’s been as a result of working from home or just to stay in touch with loved ones, digital usage has been at an all time high. I for one know that the temptation to reach for my phone and have a quick scroll through social media has been higher than normal, and for some this habit has led to possibly unhealthy usage habits.

If you’re still working from home due to your company’s COVID safe policies, or your job role has recently transitioned into more of a remote worker position, and you often feel like its impossible to practice ‘digital wellness’ due to the technology demands of your job role, then read on, we’ve put together some of our top tips to help you incorporate healthier tech usage into your daily routines.

Top Tips To Help You Incorporate Healthier Tech Usage Into Your Lifestyle

Consolidate Your Software Technology

Technology, and software in particular, can be the lifeblood of many businesses in 2020, and you’ll likely have to work with multiple types of it. But unfortunately, as with many businesses, this may have accumulated overtime. This leaves you with havng to work with a mishmash of software packages that were never designed to function together. This is where consolidating your software technology can help.

Companies like Microsoft are continuing to improve on solutions that have a wider range of capability in a single product stack, such as their Business versions of Office 365, allowing departments to reduce the level of complexity that exists in their tech environments. These result in:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Cost savings (perhaps more of a concern for your managers)
  • Business agility – we’re all having to get accustomed to rapidly adapting to change right now.

Turn Off App Notifications Where Possible

Yes, OK, some notifications are essential when they're work related, such as email notification from specific client’s, however, how many times have you checked an alert, only to find yourself scrolling through social media five seconds later? We’ve all done it!

The trick here is to get into the habit of trying to minimise notifications where you can. Whether that’s for specific apps to avoid disruptions in your daily workflow, or utilising phone features such as setting up scheduled do not disturb time periods during out-of-hours, like on the iPhone for example.

Personally, I think Apple should rethink this feature and allow you to set it to specific apps but perhaps that will come eventually.

Take Advantage Of Screen Time Restrictions

If you’re looking to improve your digital wellness, start by thinking about how you use your tech personally as well as at work. If you’re curious about how many hours per week you spend on different apps, find your phone’s ‘screen time’ function.

If the results are shocking to you, you’re not alone. According to research from ZDNet , millenials spend on average 5.7 hours a day on their phones. A recent study by RescueTime also found similar results with findings indicating that people spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones.

Here’s the trick, screen time functions on phones don’t just let you know how much time you’re spending using apps. They allow you to set downtime and app limits, and if your weekly usage report shocks you, you can even set a schedule for time away from the screen.

For example, if you want to limit the time you’re spending on social media, and can control your FOMO feelings, then you can simply select the ‘social networking’ category and the time you want to spend on those apps each day, week or month.

A Break Means… A Break!

This tip should be easier to accomplish than most find it, but that really shouldn’t be the case. Whether you’re working from home or at the company office, leave all tech (yes, that includes your phone) at your desk / workstation when you take a coffee break or have lunch.

Essentially by following this rule, you’ll achieve what the break’s purpose actually is… to allow you to take a proper break from working! It’s amazing how much more productive it can make you when you’ve had a little break and return refreshed, ready to get straight back into work mode.

Take Up A Sport Or Exercise Regime

Now perhaps this isn’t for everyone, and some may say the use of a GPS tracking watch is still using tech, but taking up something like running and having a strict rule of leaving your phone at home really does allow you to detach yourself from app notifications and digital usage. It’s not only good for your overall health. physically and mentally, but I find it allows me time to think without disruption, whether that’s one personal goals or work related issues that need solving.

Of course running is only one example, cycling, a gym session without your phone, or team sports may be more your thing, but the principle remains the same.

In an age where we barely go 2 hours without touching our phones, and that's not going to change anytime soon, now might be the perfect time to make a conscious effort to monitor our own digital usage and reflect on whether that's at 'healthy' levels or not.