How to Build Healthy Habits Around Tech Use Starting Today

Posted by Seraine Page on Thu, Jun, 10, 2021

HealthyTech-01It’s easy to blame technology for distracting us from learning how to build healthy habits.

But what if we changed our time-wasting habits on tech to healthy habits instead?

These days, you can use apps and tech to do everything from tracking your sleep to limiting your time on social media — a  known time waster and energy drain.

If you need a little more insight into how to use your digital devices in a healthier way, this post is for you. Below, you’ll find positive ways to use time on technology more wisely — both inside and outside the workplace.

How to Build Healthy Habits Around Tech Usage

If you want to turn those hours of screen time into healthy habits — instead of feeding your TikTok addiction — then you’re in luck.

With a bit of intentional practice, you can nix your need to scroll and instead use your digital devices in a smarter and healthier way. While modern tech has certainly made our lives easier in many ways, it also creates a new kind of burden and stress for its users.

Too much digital device time can cause health issues like:

If you find yourself using tech mindlessly, it may be time for an intentional change in your digital habits. Learning how to limit yourself and using your phone in a healthier manner can change everything from your posture to your physique.

Ready to make some changes for a healthier relationship with your digital devices?

Here’s how to build healthy habits with your tech:

Limit Yourself

Logging lots of hours on your digital devices? You’re not alone. According to recent research,  the average person spends around 4.2 hours on their smartphones daily. That’s according to the mobile data and analytics firm App Annie. Note that only counts Android devices, too, and doesn’t include other digital tech usage on computers or tablets. Set limits on yourself to log off your computer, phone, and tablet for the day — and don’t look back. Try timers or time limits to keep you on track. You’re bound to find more free time to invest in other more meaningful activities.

Try New Fitness Apps

If you’re already connected to your tech 24/7, why not make exercise a priority? You can find plenty of free or low-cost fitness apps to start your own exercise program. Whether you’re into yoga, short cardio workouts, strength training, biking, or another activity, you can find an app to keep you focused and motivated. Find an app with an interactive community to keep you going on days when you’d rather go down the scroll hole of social media!

Check Out These Free Fitness Resources to Get in Shape for 2021 

Don’t Keep Your Phone On You

Does your phone feel like a tether? Remove it. Not long before the invention of the cell phone, we had corded phones. Conversations were short and to the point. And, you couldn’t take your phone with you when you went out. Try this challenge: Act as though you have a corded phone to your counter, not your pocket. 

Expected to keep your phone on you? Try these tips:

    • Let contacts know you check messages at certain times
    • Set aside one day a week where you won’t need your phone
    • Stick to a schedule of only checking voicemails X number of times

For a personal experiment, consider writing down all the places you go in a day where you immediately take out your phone. The next day, go out and do the same routine without it. How does it feel? With practice, you may find it’s easier to do. Plus, you’ll likely find you may take a new route, see an old friend, meet a new friend, or just generally enjoy moments more — all excellent mental health perks.

Use It For Minimal Entertainment

With the ongoing creation of brilliant and entertaining apps, it’s tempting to download each and every one. But, the less you have on your home screen, the less likely you’ll spend countless hours glued to a screen. Consider setting a time limit for yourself to enjoy apps like TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and stick to it daily. You can also create folders for your apps, which creates one more step to open them and may automatically reduce the time you decide you want to spend on apps. Then, find other healthy ways to fill the time — like  learning something new, working on a home project, or making new (in-person) friends. 

Create No Phone Zones

The most obvious place to have a “no phone zone” is probably the car. Distracted driving killed over 3,000 individuals in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Next time you’re out driving, watch how many drivers zoom past you — looking down at their phones — while you’re sitting at a red light. It will astound you how many people make full U-turns, turns, and merge while never taking their eyes off their phone.

Other places to skip having your phone?  

    • In bed
    • During restaurant outings
    • When with family and friends

No phone zones allow you to give your full attention to whatever activity you’re doing at the moment. You’re likely to be more engaged and appreciate the time you’re spending with loved ones.

Shut Down Notifications

Is there anything more anxiety-provoking in the tech world than hearing the constant ding, ring, or tone of an instant alert? Shut the notifications down to give yourself a break from the barrage of phone, computer, or tablet notifications. It will likely take some time to break the habit of constantly looking at your devices, but in time, if you only set notifications for what really matters, you’ll spend less time on screen time.

Try a Social Media Detox

If you spend most of your time on social media when logged in, take note of how you feel. When you log off, are you feeling drained and dissatisfied? It may be time to start cleaning up your social media accounts — delete those who leave you uninspired or anxious — and then start stepping away from checking those accounts daily.

Tips to try it:

    • Delete all your social media apps
    • Try detoxing with a friend for ease
    • Have in-person conversations vs. online
    • Put your phone away at a specific time daily

When you use your social media for purposeful activities (like LinkedIn for networking), you’re likely to feel more satisfied with your overall experience. Social media allows us to connect and engage with one another, but if you’re finding yourself more irritated or anxious, a weekly or even month-long break may be what you need.

Build Healthy Tech Habits Starting Today

Starting today, help your team learn how to build healthy habits with their tech. With so much business online now, it’s easy to get swept up in spending hours attached to digital devices. Let your team know that as long as they’re efficient, they don’t need to spend every hour of the day online doing work — especially if they’re remote.

Final tips to encourage healthy tech habits:

    • Have them actually log off - When the work day is done, tell your team that they really need to be done. Have them log off email and any programs so they’re not tempted to work after hours. It will save them from burnout.

    • Don’t allow phones in meetings - Unless someone has to keep their phone on them because of a child or ill loved one, encourage your staff to leave phones outside of meeting rooms.

    • Model good tech habits - If you require your team to be logged off at a certain time, do the same. Don’t send them emails at 1 a.m. and expect them not to feel guilty that they’re not always online, too.
    • Encourage time blocking - This can be especially helpful for remote employees. Share personal use time clocking apps with your employees like Toggl to help them map out their entire day to see where they waste time. They can do this specifically for social media use, too.

Smart technology is a way of life now. Help your employees be even more effective in their usage of digital devices by using it purposefully and meaningfully each time they log on.

How do you keep your tech habits healthy? Share in the comments below!

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Topics: Wellness at Work


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