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?  

Where I'm At with Naomi Arnold from Project Healthy Happy Me

I’m excited to be featuring Naomi Arnold on the blog today, in the latest instalment of the Where I’m At interview series.

Naomi is a business and life coach with a background in psychology and counselling. She quit her job at the Australian Government and moved interstate, becoming a full time coach over a year ago. The tragic news of her father’s terminal brain cancer was a major catalyst for the decision. Naomi now lives in Queensland, Australia with her husband and young son, has a successful business and has been featured in Cleo magazine, Inspired Coach magazine and The Huffington Post.

I hope you enjoy her interview (and the bonuses!) as much as I did – again teaching us the lesson we need to learn again and again – to take it easy on ourselves and enjoy life.

What is your usual wake up time?

A cute little two year old boy named Daniel usually jumps on my bed around 6am in the morning.

What is your morning ritual?

My morning ritual shifts and changes a lot depending on the context of my life.

These days, on a ‘good’ day, I meditate and journal upon waking, and then take my little one for a walk along the track to see the horses, before returning for breakfast with my family.

On a ‘naughty’ day, I reach over and grab my phone to read the influx of emails and social media notifications I’ve received overnight. Shhh…. Don’t tell anyone. ;-)

Tell us about your commute.

I’m very blessed to be working from home and not have to commute.

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

I’m a planner. On a Sunday, I take time out to plan what I need to do for the week ahead, including what I will do on each day.

This means when I start work each day, I don’t need to think about what needs to be done – I just do it!

However, I also give myself permission to throw those plans out the window if need be. They provide a guide for me, but they need to be flexible and adaptable.

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

My ideal lunch break is spent sitting outside with my family, soaking up the sun, laughing and re-energising after a focused morning of work.

Stomping around the yard, roaring, and pretending to be a dinosaur with my toddler is an optional bonus.

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

I used to have a strict, non-negotiable workout and gym schedule, to the point where it became an unhealthy obsession. Nowadays, I’m much more relaxed about working out.

I try to move my body every day – whether it be through walking, running, yoga, some resistance training, or just bursts of activity using my Move That Body playing cards.

(Ed: Bonus – here are Naomi’s Move That Body playing cards for your daily use)

I write ‘movement’ on my to do list each day to ensure it’s something I do alongside my other tasks – even if it is a quick stretch, jiggle at my standing desk, or burst of lunges, push ups and squats in my room!

How do you like to end your day?

I like to end my day with a big cup of peppermint tea and a great book (currently Rosie Batty’s A Mother’s Story), before taking one last peek on my snoozing toddler, and climbing into bed for a final meditation before sleep.

What time do you doze off?

I try to be in bed with lights out by 10.30pm at the latest – I know that when I start to let this slide too many nights in a row my energy and irritability levels during the days to come are not desirable!

What do you aspire to every day but never / rarely actually do? (you can tell me, we all have them!)

I recently discovered a love for painting and colouring and began to make time for doing something creative each day.

I let this practice drop when my family and I got addicted to a television series (damn you, Heartland!) and have been meaning to pick it back up again.

Now that I’ve said it here, I WILL!

Any advice for women trying to find ease in their every day?

Please make a conscious effort to be gentle and kind to yourself.

Next time you’re beating yourself up or feeling stressed or anxious, ask yourself – What can I do right now to show myself more love and kindness? What would I do if I were to treat myself like my best friend? What is one thing that I can do to move forward in a loving way?

Can you give my readers your quick go-to recipe after a busy day?

(Ed: Even better than one recipe, here’s Naomi’s recipe pamphlet from her Freebies Library. I’m looking forward to trying the healthy apple crumble…)

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Thanks again Naomi! Follow her below (and download her Freebies Library too!):

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