When I first began to use email in earnest, while a student at MIT in the early 1990s, writing and reading emails had much the same feeling as writing and reading handwritten letters. By far the easiest way to write an email was to go to one of a small number of computer clusters on campus and log in to a computer terminal. The people I sent email messages to were few and far between, and they also had relatively infrequent access to an email-enabled computer. So if you sent an email to someone, you expected that they might not read it and respond for at least a few days, if not much longer. All of this encouraged the writing of messages that were relatively long and that provided information that could be quite out of date, much like a handwritten letter.
Continue reading Making Email Slow Again
Setting a clear intention is one of the most important parts of mindfulness practice. At the beginning of the day you might set an intention to act respectfully towards everyone you interact with, to be grateful for what you have, or to exhibit generosity.
Continue reading Set Your Intention, See Your Intention
Today’s tip for using technology mindfully is as simple as it can get: use your apps in full screen mode whenever possible.
Maximizing the window that you’re working in has the benefit of blocking all other windows from view so that you can stay focused on doing one thing at a time.
Continue reading Full Screen Focus
A good meeting can energize people, refocus a team, and strengthen interpersonal connections. A bad meeting can suck the energy out of a room and leave everyone feeling frustrated and exhausted. No wonder that corporate meetings are the bane of office workers and are an endless source of humor for comedians and sitcom writers.
Continue reading A Technological Trick for Avoiding Mindless Meetings
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
Although we’d all like to have such a high degree of self-control that we don’t need any external aids to keep ourselves focused and present when using technology, in practice we can all use a little help. There are a variety of apps you can use to resist technological temptation by making it impossible (or at least very difficult) to succumb to that temptation. Some good examples are:
Continue reading Protecting Yourself Against Yourself: Blocking Apps for Focus
Are you the type of person that’s constantly doing more than one thing? Do you regularly eat while you’re working? Do you check your emails, social media notifications, and look at news in the morning while you’re getting ready for the day? You’re not alone, most of us multitask, and many of us think we’re pretty good at it, but most of us have no idea what multitasking is doing to us.
Continue reading Stop Multitasking, It’s Wearing You Down!
Happiness is something that anyone can create for himself or herself—we can mindfully wire our brains to be happier and love ourselves. If you’ve ever learned about Pavlov’s dogs (which I’m sure we all have), then you understand the power of the brain and what “re-wiring” can do to the mind.
Continue reading Wiring your Brain to Love Yourself
Do you find it hard to remain focused and mindful in the face of a constant barrage of interruptions from your devices: smartphone ringing, email notifications blinking, text messages chirping? Fortunately there are a variety of ways to configure your devices to limit when, where, and how they interrupt you.
Continue reading Mindful Technology Tip: How to Control Interruptions