Using Technology to Avoid Technology

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Technology. So many of us have a love/hate relationship with it. We like it around. We use it. Often. Then sometimes we realize that we’ve spent 2 hours doing something that should have taken us about 2 minutes, all because we got distracted by the bright shiny objects beckoning to us from our e-mail and social media accounts. What to do?

What does our technology use have to do with health, you ask? A whole lot, in my opinion. That could be a whole separate article, now that you mention it. For now, let’s just say that when we spend more time than we mean to on technology, it means we are giving up time to do things that contribute to our overall health, like spending time outside, being with our friends and family, sleeping, exercising self-care, making food to eat that helps us feel good, and pursuing the things that make us happy overall.

I want to share with you two recent finds that I think are brilliant and that can help us to focus on what’s really important. One is called Inbox When Ready for Gmail, and the other is News Feed Eradicator for Facebook. I recently came across these from two different folks that I follow. One is Craig Kulyk from Create Good Mornings, and the other is Steph Crowder from Courage+Clarity.

Craig introduced Inbox When Ready to his readers through an article about productivity, and various time-wasters that small business owners engage in on a daily basis. It has changed my life. Once it is set up, it makes it so you can actually use your e-mail without being able to see your inbox unless you take an extra step. This means you can create e-mails as well as search for e-mails without seeing new messages come in constantly. In addition, you can set up special features, such as “locking” your inbox so that it boots you off at a certain time (7 p.m. for me) and doesn’t let you on until it’s past a certain time (7 a.m. for me). It can also tell you how long you’ve spent in your inbox each day. Even though I’m not someone who spends a lot of time on e-mail, this addition has truly helped me to be able to jump on for one thing and then actually get back to what I want to be doing.

I learned about News Feed Eradicator in a class I took with Steph Crowder for folks who own their own small businesses. I don’t personally use Facebook. However, I used to, and I definitely remember getting lost in the sea of the news feed. The way this awesome program works is that once installed, you see nothing but an inspirational quote when you check into your Facebook account. You can use the quotes that are already in the program, or you can even add your own. When using this, you can hop on to your Facebook account and just check in to the pages you want to see, without all of the other distractions.

The one down side to these is that both are only for use on Google Chrome. Not ideal if you don’t like using Chrome. I was a Safari user myself, but I will admit that I switched to Chrome just so I could use the Inbox When Ready option. It was worth it to not be distracted by new e-mails when I just wanted to search for a specific message.

Have you tried either of these already? I’d love to hear what your experience has been. Comment below to share!

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