For many of us, the holidays are a time when we spend precious connected moments with our loved ones. We may also engage in sacred rituals associated with these holidays.
Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays — or even if you don’t celebrate them specifically — this may well be one of the few times during the year when you can enjoy the presence of your family and friends in person and celebrate your relationships together. Continue reading Social Media: Taking a Break
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are designed not only to enable but encourage people to provide feedback about content posted by others. This might take the form of a like, a simple thumbs up or down, text, or something more sophisticated like a text or video response.
If you’ve ever posted content online, then you know just how enticing it can be to check how many people have liked what you’ve posted.
Continue reading Positive Affirmations Around Social Media Reactions
For those of you who are old enough to remember what it was like to attend a meeting before the internet, the only opportunity to speak to that person was at the scheduled appointment.
I remember when I started working as a lawyer and I was going to meet with a client. What would I do? I would prepare!
Continue reading Let’s Start Planning for Meetings as if There’s No Internet
We all know that the image people portray of themselves on social media is highly selective and curated. People often post only the information that paints them in a positive light and makes them seem as interesting as possible. As a result, their social media lives don’t always reflect their full reality.
Continue reading Positive, Negative and Neutral Posting on Social Media
Do you ever find yourself binge-watching on YouTube, Netflix, or any other site/app on which you view videos? It’s so easy to get lost in the content and then wonder where the time went.
To minimize this issue, turn off autoplay so that when you’re done watching one video, the next one doesn’t start automatically.
Continue reading Turn Off Autoplay for Videos
Have you ever watched a tennis sequence in which a player serves and the receiver runs in reaction to the serve and then hits the ball back off balance? Throughout the exchange, the server stands firm and is seemingly dictating where and when the receiver moves.
Do you ever feel like that with your smartphone? Are you the receiver and is your smartphone the server? Continue reading Responding, Not Reacting to Your Smartphone
Since I write and teach about using technology mindfully, many people assume that I’m somehow naturally gifted at that practice. They believe I’m always focused at work and never struggle with distractions when I should be doing something more productive.
In fact, when I tell people about my work in this field, they get embarrassed and think I will look down on them because of how poorly or distractedly they use technology. Continue reading You Use Technology More Mindfully Than I Do
On this blog, we’ve shared many tips on the following topics:
- How to use technology more mindfully.
- How to exercise more control over how and when you use technology in order to be more productive, focused, and creative.
- How to enable your use of technology to be more aligned with your intentions and goals.
This article is about what to do when none of the suggestions seem to work.
Continue reading Practice “Not Even One”
Do you ever feel like your smartphone is calling to you even when it’s just sitting in your pocket not doing anything? When your phone beeps, vibrates, or buzzes, do you ask yourself, “Why is my phone doing this to me?!?”
Continue reading How to Manage the Pull of Your Smartphone
Here are some more ways to apply mindfulness to tackling the tasks on your to-do list.
Continue reading Tips for Mindful Task Management: Part 2
When you pick up your phone, how often are you using it to actually do what it was first intended for? How often are you actually talking on the phone? And I don’t mean talking via text, or email, or some other form of digital communication. I mean actually talking. Picking up the phone and calling someone.
If you’re like most people today, your answer is probably something like “very rarely.”
Continue reading The Case For Adding “Call Me” Back To Your Vocabulary
Work is a place that we can easily feel stressed and overwhelmed. Maybe you have multiple projects going at the same time or an impossibly short deadline that your boss wants you to meet. It’s happened to all of us at one point! The key to keeping calm under all this stress? Mindfulness.
When a workplace promotes mindfulness a few changes begin to happen. The entire company culture changes. The workplace begins to attract (and keep) the best employees. And performance within the company improves!
Continue reading How be Happier & More Productive at Work This Week
How much time do you spend on your phone each day? I bet it’s probably more than you’d expect! According to a new study, U.S. consumers spend an average of 5 hours per day on their phones. That means that about ⅓ of your time awake is spent staring at a phone screen. If you ask me, that’s a lot of time wasted. And nearly 20% of that time is being spent on Facebook—FOMO, anyone?
Continue reading Track Your Screen Time with Moment
I’ve talked before about how technology is taking over, about how many times we’re “accidentally” sucked into our phones. We’re checking our social media accounts, multiple times a day for no other reason that the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Continue reading Study: Facebook is Might be the Reason You’re Unhappy
I know I’ve talked about this so many times before, but let me say it again for those of you that are new to the blog or new to mindfulness: technology is taking over our minds.
Whether we realize it or not it’s happening. And a movement that goes by the name of Time Well Spent it looking that help change that! Fighting back against digital distraction. Asking technology companies to create app designs that “empower us and reduce pollution to our attention.”
Continue reading Is Your Time Well Spent?
We’ve just posted the latest episode of the Technology for Mindfulness Podcast, where author Maggie Jackson joins host Robert Plotkin for a discussion about how technology can distract us and what we can do about it. Jackson is an award-winning author and former Boston Globe columnist known for her penetrating coverage of social issues, especially technology’s impact on humanity. Her essays and articles have appeared in publications worldwide, including the The New York Times, Business Week, Utne, and on National Public Radio. Her acclaimed book, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, jumpstarted our global conversation on the steep costs of fragmenting our attention. Jackson’s first book, What’s Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age, examined the loss of home as a refuge. Find more info on Maggie Jackson at maggie-jackson.com.
Continue reading Podcast Episode #02: Interview with Maggie Jackson, Author of Distracted
You’re about to start cooking dinner when you have a question about the recipe… what can you substitute for tarragon? So you pull out your phone to type your question into Google. But what happens first? You see a new text message, notifications from 3 different apps… By the time you’ve finished checking everything out you’ve completely forgotten why you originally grabbed your phone in the first place.
Does that sound like something that’s happened to you? It’s probably happened to most of us!
Continue reading Ask Yourself These 5 Questions When You Reach for Your Phone
No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, if you’re like most people, you’re probably feeling angered or even outraged by the outcome of the latest election. Either you’re upset about who has been chosen to run your country, or all the people that are upset are angering you. Either way, no one is very happy. Not even Donald Trump has been able to “enjoy” his presidency win with so much negativity going around. So how can we find a little bit of calm and rationalization at a time when tension and emotions are so high? My answer: meditation.
Continue reading Meditate to Calm your Political Anger and Learn to Accept Trump
We all have had those times when we’re feeling a little crunched for time, we have so much to do, but so little time… but what if someone told you that you could get more done in less time? That would be impossible right? Not according to Cal Newport’s idea of “deep work.”
Continue reading Increase Your Productivity Every Day with Deep Work
Distraction isn’t something new, throughout history humans have always been faced with distraction, but today it seems as though distraction has become a bigger issue. But why is that? A large part of it is due to technology, something that’s supposed to make our lives easier—and often times succeeds—also has the ability to make life harder by being such a huge distractor in our everyday lives.
When a notification pops up on your phone (a feature that’s supposed to be helpful) while you’re in the middle of an important task, or even in the middle of a family dinner, do you check it? If you’re like most people, then the answer is probably yes, even if for just a moment.
Continue reading Digital Distraction is Changing Our Ever-Evolving Minds
The workaholics among us (I can count myself in that group too much of the time) often feel that taking a break is a sign of weakness, or at least will reduce our productivity. In reality, and perhaps counter intuitively, taking breaks can help you to rejuvenate and regain your focus, and thereby increase your overall effectiveness and productivity, whether the work you are doing is physical, mental, or a combination of both.
Continue reading Take a Break to Stay Focused
I can’t count how many times I have heard the following responses to a complaint about how technology can distract us:
- “You can’t turn back the clock.”
- “If you find it distracting, just turn it off.”
- “It’s the price we pay for the benefits of technology.”
Continue reading Technological Distractions are a Bug, Not a Feature
Morning rituals are an important part of many people’s daily routines, but have you ever thought about evening rituals? Evening rituals can help to put us in a better, happier place at the end of the day and allow us to have a positive memory of the day.
Continue reading Make Each Evening Worth Remembering
In our previous post Two Theories of Distraction: Is it Becoming a Bigger Issue?, we talked about the two oldest and biggest theories of distraction: spiritual and material distraction. But there’s a new theory of distraction that’s been brought to light by Matthew Crawford in his new book “The World Beyond Your Head: Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction.”
Continue reading The Third Theory of Distraction: Is There a Solution?
Distraction, it’s something that happens to all of us in today’s modern society. It can be enjoyable at times (scrolling though Facebook while waiting for a flight), but it can also lead to some terrible situations (scrolling though Facebook while driving).
Continue reading Two Theories of Distraction: Is it Becoming a Bigger Issue?
We hate to admit it, but nearly all of us take work home with us, it can be hard to just pack up and the end of the day and leave everything at the office. Whether we literally take home things to do after leaving work, or mentally take work problems home, it happens. Unless your job requires it—leave work stress in the office!
Continue reading Shutdown Rituals: Leave The Work Stress at Work
Most of what we write about here focuses on mindfulness as it relates to being focused at work or being more attentive in relationships. Being mindful, however, can literally save your life.
Continue reading Saving Lives with Mindfulness
Have you ever sat down with your family for dinner, only to be faced with the glare of smartphones from everyone at the table? If so, then Dolmio Australia claims to have a technological solution to the problem:
Continue reading A Sneaky Way to Eliminate Technological Distractions at the Dinner Table
Apple recently announced that iOS 9 for the iPad will allow two apps to be displayed side-by-side simultaneously. This feature, like every multitasking “improvement,” is being promoted as a way to enable users to be more productive, so why do I find myself feeling sad that Apple didn’t continue to hold the line against the “everything, everywhere, all-the-time, simultaneously” philosophy that consumes device and operating system design all too often?
Continue reading iPad Update a Step Back for Mindfulness?
By Sang H. Kim
If Buddha had a smartphone ringing during meditation,
chances are, he would compassionately answer it, sit centered meditating undisturbed, or just turn it off. I imagine that whatever he did, he would do it mindfully.
Continue reading Guest Blog: If Buddha Had A Smartphone
We often hear that “information overload” is a problem of our times. We receive “too much information” and, as a result, we are overwhelmed, anxious, and distracted.
Continue reading Overload Isn’t the Only Problem with Information
Nattch is an online social networking system that only allows users to post updates about their actual lives–no links to other information on the Internet allowed. The goal is to limit posts to information about users themselves, and to eliminate the clutter and temptation of links to external–and usually irrelevant–information.
Continue reading Nattch Offers a Social Networking System with Reduced Distractions
University of Washington Professor David Levy teaches a course entitled, “Information and Contemplation,” in which he guides students through mind-training exercises, such as engaging in only one digital task at a time, to raise students’ awareness about how they use computer technology. He also begins each session with a short meditation. Read more about it at The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Grand Velas Resorts in Mexico have introduced a “Digital Detox” program. If you sign up for the program, a “Detox Concierge” will cleanse your suite of digital distractions upon your arrival, such as by removing the flat screen television from the room, replacing it with classic board games, and taking your personal electronic devices from you and storing them in a safe. I was interested to hear Sharon Brody’s commentary about the program on NPR this morning, which the NPR web site entitles, “Digital Detox Vacation: For Those Who Have Everything–Except Willpower.”
Continue reading Mexican Resort Introduces Digital Detox Program
Matthew B. Crawford has an interesting piece
in the New York Times suggesting that we view our attention as a resource and recognize that “a person has only so much of it.” “What if we saw attention in the same way that we saw air or water, as a valuable resource that we hold in common? Perhaps, if we could envision an “attentional commons,” then we could figure out how to protect it.”