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?  

Are You Who You Have Always Been?

As people, we are all constantly evolving and (gulp) ageing. However, over the last couple of years I’ve had a realisation about this on three specific occasions:

  1. I had a conversation with my Grandma, who just turned 95
  2. I found the speech my friends made at my 21st birthday party
  3. I read this blog post from Kate Northrup

As Kate so eloquently puts it, the realisation is - we are who we have always been. We will change our tastes, our situations and our outlook over time but I do believe we’ll always be who we are at our core. 

During the conversation with my Grandma, we spoke about her life, her experiences and what it was like to be in her 90s.

As we spoke and she transported herself back to other times - as an 8 year old moving to Australia, having babies in her 20s and 30s, becoming a Grandma in her 50s, not only could I see her current personality shining through all of those experiences, but I could also see (and she confirmed for me) that she felt like the same person in her 90s as she felt back then.

Things had changed but her qualities and essence had not.  

A few months later my husband was clearing out those piles of papers we all have lying around the house one weekend, and came to find me on our balcony having a glass of pinot gris in the sun.

He started reading to me from a sheet of paper and I quickly realised he had found the speech my high school friends had given at my 21st birthday party. I had no idea I even had it.

The speech was full of funny stories from those times, very sweet sentiments about me as a person, and finished with a heap of immature sayings I was known for at the time.

As he read on, I felt it wash over me too - I was who I had always been. Sure, I don’t feel 21 anymore but I still carry those personality traits and I am still known for my love of immature humour all these years later. I don’t plan on becoming mature by the way...;)

Then came the post from Kate - she had a similar experience as the discovery of my speech, except hers was boxes of memories from her childhood.

I found the post very comforting - as life moves through different stages, we deal with getting older and the world around us changes - we can always count on ourselves and knowing we will, at our core, be who we have always been.

Do you feel you are who you have always been?