As a business owner, employee, or even just an everyday technology user, you may feel constantly connected to devices both during and outside of a workday. In a tech-centric world (especially in the workplace), it is challenging to part with things that provide efficiency and connect people almost anywhere. The reality of our virtual dependency is that more individuals than ever are attributing heightened stress levels to excessive technology use, and doctors are even trying to deem Internet and gaming addiction a legitimate disorder.
In a 2017 study conducted by the American Psychological Association, findings showed that nearly eight out of 10 tech users are attached to their devices on a typical day. Many tech-savvy individuals also report that they struggle with sleep disorders and suffer from eye strain, headaches and other physical and mental health concerns. With billions of individuals across the world using the internet, it’s no secret that spending too much time online can also pose other risks. Whether it be from failing to safely secure files, not installing virus protection on your device, or falling for a phishing scam, identity theft can run rampant on the Internet, especially if you aren’t careful. If just the thought of someone stealing your personal information stresses you out, you’re not alone.
So what can you do to keep yourself from succumbing to tech stress? Since it’s essentially unavoidable to go screen-free in most offices, being tech-smart is the best way to remain stress-free in your digital life. If you find that technology is more of a source of stress than a convenience, consider taking some measures to unwind, and take a look at these steps to help you best utilize technology:
Consider taking time at the end of each workday to plan for the following day. Setting time aside to block off sections of your day for specific tasks will help reduce procrastination and stress. This also means closing out those extra tabs on your computer for excessive multitasking. Being task-oriented and limiting inefficient multitasking when possible can help to reduce stress levels, and it can also help tidy up your device. Some studies show that only 2.5 percent of individuals are able to multitask effectively, so you might be more productive if you take your workday one tab at a time anyway.
Practice Device Safety
In order to work as efficiently as possible, it is important to be mindful of how you use your devices. Safely securing files, updating software, and avoiding mixing business and personal funds, files, and devices will ensure no overlap occurs and devices are adequately protected on all fronts. Carelessness in maintenance or Internet surfing can leave you victim to cybercrime, device failure, or file loss.
If this is an issue of concern for your business as an owner or employee, consider looking into an identity theft protection service like LifeLock as an employee benefit to better safeguard personal information. Having peace of mind when it comes to being proactive and taking a few preventative security measures can save a lot of future hassle and stress in the long run.
Take Time Each Day to Unplug
Although you may not always be able to unplug during a work day, taking time to part with technology when you can may result in higher productivity levels while working. It can also aid in relief from headaches, eye strain and even mild insomnia. Whether you choose to spend time enjoying the great outdoors or at home with a good book, there are countless screen-free ways to spend your time off the clock.
Let Technology Help, Not Hinder
Technology has helped people from all over the world connect in ways that once seemed unimaginable. With an abundance of information at our fingertips, it is extremely useful when starting a company, recruiting, conducting business or researching. Technology serves as a valuable resource and a communication convenience, but don’t discredit the importance of communicating face-to-face. Social isolation and workplace distraction can be side-effects of too much tech use, so utilizing devices for their benefits and maintaining interpersonal connections in-person can help to alleviate unnecessary workplace stress and tech overload.
Brent S. is an Internet and cybercrime specialist. He takes pride in educating business owners and employees on the importance of keeping their personal information safe.