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
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
The so-called “desktop metaphor” has been around on personal computers for about 40 years and is still the dominant way of visually organizing information. It was originally designed to emulate a physical desktop on which you put folders, files, and other types of documents and devices.
Regardless of how you feel about computer desktops, they can become cluttered just like a physical desktop, which can be distracting, stress-inducing, and hinder your productivity.
If your desktop is filled from top to bottom with icons, are you aware of whether just glancing at that desktop hundreds of times throughout the day causes any feelings of stress? Perhaps you catch an icon for a document youâ€™re working on out of the corner of your eye. It may cause a thought or worry about how youâ€™re going to complete that document. The thought may be fleeting and you may only be semi-aware of it. However, consider the cumulative impact of having so many experiences like this throughout your day just because of how many times you are looking at that desktop.
Here are a few tips you can follow to remove the clutter from your desktop.
If you like having all of those icons on your desktop because you feel that they are easy to find, I have one simple suggestion that will let you access everything just as easily without cluttering your visual space and creating any anxiety. Just create a single folder on your desktop called â€œDesktopâ€ and move all of the icons from your desktop into that folder. Now your desktop is clear, but you can still access everything that was in it by opening that folder.
You lose virtually no productivity by taking this step while potentially making a very significant gain in how relaxed, calm, and de-stressed you feel when looking at your desktop.
To make sure you keep enjoying the benefits of this practice over time, you must close the folder after opening it so that its contents are no longer visible. Otherwise, you will be seeing the clutter just as regularly as you would if it were scattered around the desktop.
As an additional step, you can create a small number of subfolders within your new desktop folder. Keep it very simple â€” you might just have a folder for apps and separate folders for different types of documents (word processing, spreadsheets, photos, etc.). If you make too many folders, you will start making it hard to find documents and reduce the benefits that this simple method provides.
Now, you merely need to keep your desktop from becoming cluttered again over time. The most common ways in which this happens occur when installing new apps or creating new folders on your computer. Move those icons and documents into your desktop folder.
Even if youâ€™re someone who loves having a full desktop, try out this approach and see how different you feel when booting up your computer in the morning and seeing a completely tidy space. You could even use a desktop background image that you love in order to stay motivated to keep it from being blocked by countless icons.
Once you make the small investment of time and energy required to start using this method, it takes very little effort to maintain it over time. You can get a huge payback in feeling calm while maintaining very high productivity.
We all feel gratitude sometimes, even if weâ€™re not mindful enough to be aware of the feeling. And if we are aware of it, often times we forget or feel awkward expressing it. Feelings can be hard to talk about, even positive ones. But sometimes, thatâ€™s exactly what businesses need to improve! A great company isnâ€™t all about the number, itâ€™s about the employees as well.
Weâ€™ve touched on how gratitude can change you as an individual, but what can it do for a company? What happens when employees start expressing gratitude in the workplace?
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. Itâ€™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!
You already know about meditation, and you may have heard that itâ€™s becoming more mainstreamâ€”itâ€™s not just for Buddhists or those totally chill hipsters. But technology is bringing mindfulness and meditation into the general public! Why? Because it can be beneficial to anyone. And with wearable relaxation technology and meditation apps, thereâ€™s no doubt that itâ€™s only just beginning.
And one place that needs it most is the workplace.
Weâ€™re living in an â€œalways onâ€ society. Weâ€™re always doing something, weâ€™re always connected, weâ€™re always right by our phones (and reaching it more than we should). Whether itâ€™s a call from your boss asking if you can come in on your day off or an email from an important client on the weekend, weâ€™re never fully disconnected from our work, are we?
A new law is attempting to help French workers relax outside of work, giving them the â€œright to disconnect.â€
Even if youâ€™re lucky enough to have a super laid back and relaxed work environment, Iâ€™m willing to bet that stress still gets to you at work once in awhile. One study found that 60% of employee absences could be traced back to stress, and that number has been on the rise.
While there are a variety of factors in the workplace that can lead to stress, most are just out of our control. So what can we do about? Most of us are not going to up and quit an otherwise perfectly good job. And even if you did, whatâ€™s to say that your next job wonâ€™t cause the same stress?
Have you ever heard the saying â€œconfidence comes from within?â€ When you begin to practice mindfulness, you learn that that phrase is very true! It doesnâ€™t take accomplishments and a vast knowledge of everything in your career for you to feel confident at workâ€”it just takes a little mindfulness.
Do you ever feel aimless and unfocused at work? Do you leave the office at the end of the day feeling like you got nothing accomplished? If so, you are not alone. New research shows that people spend almost 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what theyâ€™re doing. In other words, many of us operate on autopilot.