Technology has permeated our social life, daily work, and other activities . However, for tech to benefit us, balance is vital.
We've taken up minimalism in things that we consider needs versus wants like food, home decor, closets, and our finances.
But technology can feel like a need. It's harder to go easy on this category of our lives. Nevertheless, you can use technology AND remain connected.
5 helpful minimalistic habits
Finding the balance that works for us helps us avoid over-consumption and still use tech to enhance our lives.
Habit 1. Phone minimalism
The smartphone is probably one of the most intrusive forms of technology in the world. This device has morphed into a need instead of a want. It's the most abused and hardest to keep in balance.
Having your ringtone on gets disruptive when you're with a friend or in a meeting. How about switching it up?
Turn the ringer on when expecting an urgent call, or during times when spontaneous calls won't be intrusive. If this seems cumbersome, try the Do Not Disturb feature to set your ringtone on at specific times and specific numbers.
MINIMALIST PHONE SCREEN
When you pick up your phone, you're usually looking for something specific, like missed calls or messages. But as soon as the screen lights up, you see many notifications that capture your attention.
You find yourself 15 minutes later reviewing app notifications that were not urgent.
The solution? Screen Minimalism. It comes in two parts:
TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS
Consider turning OFF notifications for apps that aren't time-sensitive. Keep only the ones that provide actionable and vital information. This helps you to address the rest when you have set aside the time.
MINIMALISTIC HOME PAGE
When your screen contains minimal or no apps, this forces you to pause and ask yourself what you're looking for. Sometimes you pick up the phone instinctively but were looking for nothing!
Habit 2. Email minimalism
Work emails quickly become overwhelming. Pay attention to the number of times you check your email- it might be more than 20 in a day!
Unread emails give a sense of urgency and leave us feeling stressed. So what can we do?
Email stress doesn't only come from work emails. Marketing newsletters are culprits too. How about trying the Unroll Me service?
It works like this: It gives you ONE email with a chosen subset of your emails listed inside, like an email news feed. You don't have to open each email separately.
This feature makes reviewing emails very quick. It also consolidates your "junk mail" into one email, so your overall inbox looks streamlined.
The handy unsubscribe feature makes life even easier. You can scroll through all your email subscriptions and select the email(s) you no longer want. Check off on the ones you wish to unsubscribe from and voila!
STOP CHECKING YOUR EMAIL
Instead of constantly refreshing your email, set a specific amount of time to check your email. This tactic ensures that when you open your email, you have the time to reply or give attention to the action you read right away.
If you open your email and five different emails that need your attention, you're likely to postpone acting on them. You push them to the do later list- and before you know it, they accumulate until you're overwhelmed.
Habit 3. Social media minimalism
SOCIAL MEDIA 'DATE'
Social media can enhance your life if used well. Set a social media date with yourself for a set time. For instance, decide to go through your accounts or feeds after dinner, during lunch, or on your commute. This way, you won't feel guilty for spending hours on end in a social media vortex.
SWAP YOUR PHONE FOR THE COMPUTER
Go through social media on your computer instead of the phone. Using a computer, you can set your social media pages to open to a specific page instead of your feed. When you enter deliberately to your page, your calendar of events, or a favorite group, you're mindful about where you go from there. Thus you invest your time consciously while on these platforms.
Think about which friend you're curious about and send them a message. Even better, after viewing their profile go offline, send them text via phone or visit them if possible.
SET AN ALARM!
Living a minimalist lifestyle involves valuing your time. However, it doesn't come automatically for most of us. We have to develop the discipline. Fortunately, there are many tracker apps to help with social media based on your device.
If you do the math, you could find that you can amass two full weeks a year on social media. How many useful things can you do with those two weeks?
Habit 4. The internet vortex
You logged in to look up something, but 3 hours later, you have read and watched so many things unrelated to the original search. The struggle with the internet is that there is SO much information. To keep yourself on track, make a research later list.
Having a list of things to look up and check off one by one while online ensures you're using your time (and the internet) effectively.
Habit 5. Selective specialty devices
There is a myriad of smart devices these days. It's essential to make sure these are enhancing, not taking over your life. From Activity Trackers, to Gaming Consoles, TV, Home Stereo, Smart Watches, Smart Door Locks, and Toothbrushes, the list is endless. Before you buy another device, consider whether it makes your life better, more comfortable and whether the time spent on it is a good use of your time.
Gaming is the perfect example. Some people use it as a decompression activity, a playful pastime or sport. However, it can turn into a stressful activity if it denies you sleep and replaces meaningful offline connections with other people.
Choose to use devices in a way that adds meaning to your life. We hope these tips have offered you some easy insights to incorporate today.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team