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Technology Boundaries- Do you Have 'Em?

Technology boundaries. What’s that??

Covid pushed us into a very virtual world, whether we were ready, or not! We used to socialize in person, learn in person, have meetings, exercise in person – you get it. Now, we have come to discover that we can do almost EVERYTHING virtually, if we choose. This leads to what I like to call “over- information”. Our inboxes and newsfeeds are suddenly full with meeting recordings, invites, videos, free giveaways, worksheets, it goes on and on. We are invited to MORE meetings and events simply because we CAN be. It’s the world of more and more, faster and faster. And I don’t know about you, but it’s getting hard to keep up. And it’s exhausting. I have come to realize that it may actually be IMPOSSIBLE to keep up, depending on what you have going on in your life- family obligations, multiple jobs, etc. So how do we deal with this feeling of drowning in information?

It comes down to getting very good at scanning what comes in and prioritizing what is most important to us. You may not be able to read every email or paragraph that comes through from all of the businesses you follow, or watch every video that comes out with freebees. But what if you pick which things you want to focus on right now? What if you could train your brain to quickly decide when info comes in- yes, no, or maybe later?

Also, have you noticed the ridiculous amount of multitasking we do at once? Here are some examples:

- Text and answer emails while watching TV

- Listen to a podcast while we workout

- Listen to a training while we answer emails

- Watch our kids while we work

- Be on a conference call while we fill in a spreadsheet or answer about 30 emails

- Being in 2 virtual meetings at once- oh, yes! I have seen others pull this off!

Don’t get me wrong. Multitasking is very important and necessary, but I would like to give you an invitation to do just one thing at once, if that feels right at that time and the situation allows, and bring mindfulness to it.

Not only do we NOT need to do every suggestion that is in front of us, we can give one task the quality attention that it deserves. Maybe listen to a podcast with your full attention, or exercise without any other distractions.

Try to create boundaries for yourself around technology, whenever possible. Here are some ideas that may work for you:

- When you watch that hour of TV, leave your phone in another room and truly enjoy the show

- No phones allowed in the bedroom.. ever (yes, pull out that old fashioned alarm clock)

- No texting while you have a human person in front of you

- No multitasking allowed while in a virtual meeting

- No work after Xpm, or before Xam

- No technology X amount of time before bed or after waking

- No technology while enjoying nature (bring a plain old camera, if you have one)

- Answer whatever texts or emails come in at certain designated times during the day, instead of the moment they arrive

(Journal Prompt: Write up your OWN list of technology boundary rules. Then challenge yourself to work on them over the next 3 weeks (Did you know it takes 21 days to make a behavior a habit?!)

Maybe even challenge yourself with a brief technology detox- take a few hours off from technology all together on the weekends. Leave your phone off and out of sight, if that’s an option.

When we are on our yoga mat, we are very mindful. We notice our thoughts, sensations in our body, any emotions that may come up. Try to take this same mindfulness with you into your everyday life. Be truly present with the human or furry friend, or work task in front of you. Technology is amazing, and it has opened so many doors for all of us, but remember, it is there is help us flourish, not to hinder us from being present.

The flip side to this is that now we have access to so much at our fingertips, perhaps use that to your advantage. Zoom with your extended family who live on the other side of the country, have that work or family reunion virtually, take a class you have always been curious about during your lunch break.

So I ask you, as you enter this new month and week- how are you showing up and using technology for good, instead of a mindless distraction? Everything is good in moderation. Sometimes we just need to skillfully bring mindfulness to how we USE the technology available to us. I know I certainly continue to work on this. <3

In Light & Love,

Melissa Carvalho

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