How These 3 Tech Tools Can Cut Down Your Time Online

A common issue I hear from my clients is the guilt they feel for the amount of time they spend online.

Whether it’s distracting them from their business, their kids, or derailing their mornings, endless scrolling seems to be an easy time suck without much reward.

Since starting maternity leave and having my baby girl, I’ve noticed an increase in my online time too.

Once she was down for a nap I found myself flopping onto the couch and zoning out with Instagram.

Before I knew it nap time was over and I hadn't achieved much at all.

I’m all for relaxing throughout the day, but I was starting to feel like a zombie and needed some tools to drag me out of this tech slump.

Forest (aka pomodoro timers) 

With a tagline like ‘stay focused, be present’, the Forest app is perfect for keeping you off your phone and in your life.

It’s basically a pomodoro-style productivity tool - you set it for a chosen amount of tech-free time (25 minutes is the default) and it will plant a tree for you.

If you pick up your phone and go into another app, the tree dies. It will send you gentle warning messages and remind you to put your phone down as the timer counts down.

I set this after baby girl goes down for a nap and am often amazed at what I can get done in 25 minutes.

Shower, dishes, laundry, often all done by the time I come back to my phone. I can see myself using this once I go back to work too.

And the best part? You can actually use the coins you accumulate from each tech free break to plant real trees on earth!

Guided meditations

Insight Timer is my latest favourite guided meditation app.

With a tonne of different teachers and types of meditation, I use it for morning meditation, drifting off to sleep and also used it for those middle of the night feeds, as there’s actually meditations for mindfulness when feeding your baby.

One of my favourite meditations is ‘Take back your online life’ by Tony Brady (and there are other tech related meditations on the app that you can try).

It reminds me of how distracted we all get online - we start looking at one thing, then go down the rabbit hole of endless information. I’ve taken one of Tony’s suggestions and now use a very simple tool to monitor online time…

Your phone timer

Yup, just the regular timer on my phone is the latest tool I’m using.

I’ll set it for 30 minutes before I open social media and put my phone down when the timer goes off.

It’s helping me understand how quickly that 30 minutes can fly by without much to show for it, and I’m able to get on with my day knowing I’ve had my fix (for now anyway…).

Time online is known to give us that special dopamine hit as messages, likes and new posts draw us in.

I’m savvy to the fact that online life has its benefits but don’t want to forget these days because my head was buried in my phone.

What tools do you use to manage your online time?  

Breaking The Procrastination Cycle

Oh the irony - I was procrastinating on writing a blog post this week and then decided to write about procrastination!

This morning I sat down to my computer to write and found myself scrolling through Instagram, reading other blogs, looking at holiday photos of people I’ve never met on Facebook... you know the drill.

I always feel brilliant after I write to you readers, so what was holding me back?

The task seemed too big

Even though I write here every week, today the idea of it just seemed insurmountable.

Writing and editing the post, finding photos to go with it, sending it to my subscribers (BTW - have you signed up above to receive my blog posts and my 5 best tools for everyday ease yet?) - it all seemed like too much ahead of me today.

However, I mentally broke it down into smaller tasks - I would just try and write the post, then see what happens. Of course momentum took over and once one task was done, the next seemed possible - and so on from there.

I couldn’t visualise the benefits

‘No one’s going to mind if I don’t post this week’, I thought.

But then I remembered I promised myself back in October that I would post every week and that I would be bringing value to my readers if I did so.

I’ve made a commitment to write here on the blog and I know mentally that if I don’t achieve that it would eventually make me feel negatively towards myself.

I hadn’t told others

The accountability of someone else should definitely not be underestimated.

I spoke to my friend Abby and told her I was struggling to get a post out this week. She talked through the perils of procrastination with me, we had a laugh about our similar mindsets and I knew now that she’d be expecting me to get the post done.

If you’re feeling in a slump and not motivated to get something done, talking through it with someone really does work wonders for propelling you forward.

There was no reward in sight

Celebrating and rewarding yourself are not negative things.

My reward wasn’t even that big - I told myself if I wrote this blog post I could make myself a latte and sit on the couch catching up on Snapchat.

Yup, that sounded pretty amazing to me so I pushed through and knew the reward was coming.

I could have easily procrastinated with that activity first, but it felt so much better to sit down with an accomplishment already under my belt.

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Whatever you’re procrastinating on, try these tips to propel you forward.

I’m happy to be your accountability partner if you let me know what your task is in the comments below!

Where I'm At with Rachel Gadiel from Nourish

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Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.

Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.

This month we’re talking to Rachel Gadiel from the blog, Nourish. Rachel is a gorgeous coach and blogger, who lives in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. She focuses on many of our favourite topics around here – simplicity, productivity and of course, nourishing ourselves. Rachel also coaches other creative bloggers and business owners on intentional ways to grow their passions.

When I reached out to Rachel, I had the loveliest response from her, so admire her even more than when I was reading from afar! Enjoy the interview and head to her blog and social media (her Instagram is one of my faves) to show her some love. 

 

What is your usual wake up time?

During the week I generally wake up at around 7am. Weekends are definitely an indulgent, slower start at around 8 and sometimes 9am!

How do you like to start your day?

On weekdays my morning routine is super simple as I’m on a mission to get out the door to work. It starts with a glass of warm water and lemon juice and a healthy breakfast, followed by a cup of coffee. I always make sure I begin each day with positive affirmations and a chapter out of a personal development book I’m reading.

A positive mindset is everything – become the master of your thoughts and believe you can achieve anything, and you will!

Tell us about your commute.

I’m lucky to live super close to work – it’s a 5 minute drive and 30 minute walk. I intentionally set the goal of walking to and from work 3 days a week which is a great way to fit in moving my body. To make this time productive I love listening to an uplifting podcast or a book on Audible. The other days I drive, and when I do it feels like a luxury!

Do you like to plan your day ahead or allow for some spontaneity?

As I’m working full time and hustling my coaching biz on the side, it is super important for me to be organised and keep on top of my daily to do list. I’m a firm believer that the secret of success lies in your daily routine and habits. Being super clear about your overall vision, combined with the daily discipline of your habits, will naturally mean you’re on the path to success.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think leaving room for spontaneity is important too, but it’s all about balance and getting your priorities in order.

How do you spend your ideal lunch break to recharge for the afternoon?

I always grab my book and get out of the office to soak up the fresh air and sunshine – this gives me more energy and a positivity boost to power through the afternoon. I find reading always inspires me with ideas for blog posts and my coaching clients, so I always have a notebook handy to write down any nuggets of wisdom!

What kind of workout schedule do you try to adhere to?

I aim to work out at least 3–4 times a week and try to move my body most days. I tend to do a mix of both resistance training and cardio. I like to mix things up by doing a boot camp once a week, pilates and I’m also a fan of the BBG by Kayla Itsines and love doing her workouts at home. Throw in the odd yoga class and run when time permits. 

How do you like to end your day?

End of the day is all about unplugging and cuddling up to my love on the couch, watching a TV show together. At the moment we’re watching season 3 of Orange is the New Black - such an awesome show!

What time do you doze off?

Bedtime for me is 11-11:30pm. 

And to finish off, here's Rachel's current manifesto:

Thanks for giving us a peek into your daily life Rachel. I’m sure you can see why she’s such a success,  with discipline and focus propelling her forward.

Go and give Rachel some love (and follows) at the links below:

Website: rachelgadiel.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/rachelgadiel

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hopscotchgrace/pins/

Bloglovin': https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/nourish-10306535

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thisisnourish

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelgadiel