The concept of mindful technology is edging its way into the mainstream as more and more people want to break free of unhealthy digital habits.
Pete Dunlap, Founder of Digital Detangler, is poised to help with this uniquely modern problem. He empowers individuals, schools, and businesses to transform their digital environments for greater well-being.
Robert Plotkin recently interviewed Pete on the Technology for Mindfulness podcast to learn how he became the Digital Detangler and what individuals can do to take control of their own technology use.
Continue reading How to Manage Your Digital Environment – 6 Practical Ideas from Pete Dunlap
When you read the latest headlines, you’d think technology is the worst thing to happen to couples since… well, ever. After all, it takes our attention away from our partners, right?
Not so fast. It’s not all bad news. Marla Mattenson has a different perspective, and it’s quite empowering. Continue reading 4 Ways Technology Can Improve Your Relationships – A Conversation with Marla Mattenson
Dr. Sherry Walling offers a unique perspective on entrepreneur burnout.
As both an accomplished clinical psychologist and the spouse of a serial tech entrepreneur, she’s combined insights from both roles and developed a much-needed resource called ZenFounder.
On a recent Technology for Mindfulness podcast, our founder Robert Plotkin interviewed Dr. Walling to learn more about her work.
They chatted about entrepreneur stress, how it’s made worse by the frenetic pace of technology, and her recommendations for founders (and their partners). Continue reading Thriving as an Entrepreneur in the Digital Age – 5 Lessons from Dr. Sherry Walling
Do you find that it’s hard to turn your work mind off even after you stop working? Is the “end of the work day” concept foreign to you because you keep your nose so close the grindstone? Many of us find ourselves in this situation, particularly with smartphones, laptops, and mobile internet enabling us to stay connected at all times.
Those of us who work from home can find it especially difficult to create boundaries between work and personal life. Here are some suggestions for doing just that.
1. Try to develop a regular work schedule.
This allows you to get into the habit of starting and stopping work at certain times of the day. It doesn’t have to be a traditional schedule. Just find what works for you. It can even include several different periods of work on different days. The key is doing your best to scheduleÂ certain regular times for starting and stopping work, creating a habit in your mind through repetition.
2. Develop starting and ending work habits/rituals.
These are certain actions that you perform and thoughts that you have to transition your mind into and out of work mode. They could be as simple as stopping and pausing for 5 or 10 seconds and thinking about what you’re going to transition into. You might say it out loud or in your mind to engage your focus. It could be something as simple as arranging things on your desk or simply starting work. No matter the tasks, these should help you make the mental transition to and from work.
Rituals are found in several other traditions. For instance, when you walk into a Japanese martial arts school, you pause and bow at the threshold before entering. At the beginning of each class, there is also a bowing ceremony. I was always taught that one of this ritual’s purposes is to help us reach a more focused mental state.
These tips have something in common: They help to create and enforce mental boundaries between work time and non-work time. I think these boundaries have always existed, but it’s particularly important these days to intentionally create them because they’re missing in the way that many of us work. Technology makes information and communication available to us at all times and in all places. Many of us can work without going into an office, with different people, and on different projects. Obviously, this situation suffers from a lack of boundaries.
If we want to have them in our lives, we have to create them ourselves through force of habit.
Here’s another resource that could help: Shutdown Rituals: Leave the Work Stress at Work.
As mindfulness in the West is picking up and taking off as a popular movement, Iâ€™m getting the feeling that many people are being introduced to it as a purely intellectualÂ and mental practice. After all, the word â€œmindâ€ is in mindfulness.Â
However, there are ways to achieve a state of mindfulness that donâ€™t start with or focus primarily on your mind. Other approaches focus more on the body or integrating mental and physical training. Continue reading The Mind Can Also Follow the Body
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.Â
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
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
Last week we talked about how and why we need to recover from tasks in our daily life and we covered,Â recovering from work and technology. I challenged you to take on both of these, did you try it? How did it go? Did you notice a difference in your stress or sleep?
Today weâ€™re moving on to the other 4 areas of our lives that we need to learn to recover from: people, fitness, food, & being awake.
Youâ€™re about to start cooking dinner when you have a question about the recipeâ€¦ 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 appsâ€¦ By the time youâ€™ve finished checking everything out youâ€™ve completely forgotten why you originally grabbed your phone in the first place.
Does that sound like something thatâ€™s happened to you? Itâ€™s probably happened to most of us!
The term “mindfulness” is often used hand in hand, or even synonymously, with “meditating,” and for good reason–mindfulness meditation is one of the most longstanding and widely-used techniques for practicing mindfulness.Â It isn’t, however, the only way.Â In Buddhist teaching it is said that there are 84,000 doors to enlightenment.Â Here I’ll mention just five:
A good meeting can energize people, refocus a team, and strengthen interpersonal connections.Â A bad meeting can suck the energy out of a room and leave everyone feeling frustrated and exhausted.Â No wonder that corporate meetings are the bane of office workers and are an endless source of humor for comedians and sitcom writers.
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.Â 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.
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.Â 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.Â Some good examples are:
We all complain about how technology distracts us and makes it harder to be mindful. Now is the time to stop moaning and take charge. Here are five tips for using technology to help you be more mindful.