The world has been reduced to become a global village with the advent of interactive technology and advanced interfaces. We rely on social media apps for work and to connect with people so much that our actual interaction has become minimal compared to our virtual presence.
It is true these apps and technologies have made our lives easier as compared to the past where everything required months to be processed, but it has also taken away the joy of direct connection, interactive communication and team productivity.
If you are like me — busy with virtual meetings and social media surfing — you appreciate the power of technology. But, you also see how diverting and even damaging it can be.
Can you remember being in the middle of a conversation with someone when they were distracted by a notification on their phone? Have you ever had plans to start on a new project, but a quick Instagram check completely derailed your intentions?
It’s time to take your power back. Make a change in your daily routine this week. Start your day with an early morning run or journaling instead of checking your inbox and your notifications first thing in the morning.
If you fueled your body, heart and soul first before jumping into your email, you can respond to it more thoughtfully and plan your day around what matters most to you.
If you use social media daily and want to take back the power of living simple, these tips will help to prioritize your actual life over your virtual life:
1. Set your limits.
Create limits that ensure your mornings, evenings, or other times of the day — when you are most creative, or during the times you connect with your family — are free of any social media surfing. For instance, impose limits like:
- No notification checking before 10am or after 7pm.
- Check social media three times a day
- Check social media from your laptop, and not from your phone
Experiment with strategies and demonstrate flexibility until you find something that works for you. Also, let co-workers, clients and even family know what your limits are and the best way to reach you if they need an immediate response.
2. Turn off notifications.
If you get a notification every time someone likes your comment, you are setting yourself up for a day of complete distraction.
You don’t need to know the exact moment someone liked your photo or re-tweeted your tweet. Take control of social media by turning off the notifications and seeing new activity only at designated time.
3. Give weekend autoresponders a try.
Relying on autoresponders can be overwhelming, especially if you have a habit of being very specific and personal in your responses.
As you move towards a simpler and clutter free life, you will see the value of experimenting with them in moving forward. Log out from social media completely on weekends and give the auto-responders a try.
4. Be brief and kind when you respond.
It is true most of the queries can be answered with only a few sentences, and getting right to the point demonstrates you want to get your point across and that you value everyone’s time, including your own.
Only a handful of remarks require a longer response, and those are typically the work related email messages that fall into the “respond later” pile.
A brilliant solution to this can be employing unedited audio messages to respond to emails and messages instead of writing long, and immaculately structured sentences. They are personal, save time, and let you get to the heart of the matter without worrying if you put the comma in the right place.
5. Value your digital space.
Make sure you give value to your personal space and family time. While you can’t prevent 100% of the nonsense that arrives in your inbox, take responsibility by unsubscribing when necessary.
Filter out as much junk as you can from your social media, and make room for good stuff that can actually help you. If you want to connect, create and thrive, get out of your newsfeed and into your life.