In this day and age, we need to start being conscious about using technology in your business.
Are you using them to make your life easier? Or are you letting them control your life?
Is the technology in your business draining your energy?
These are some serious questions that we should be asking ourselves.
But another one we should ask that’s just as important is…
How Technology Can Work For And Not Against You
One of the positive aspects of tech is that it liberates you because you can work from anywhere! You don’t have to be in just one place to be able to do your work and you can even work together with others, via apps like Evernote, Basecamp, or Asana – all of which allow you to create tasks, keep up with what your team is working on, and their progress. You can also access your company’s files through apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. – which is super useful!
Do you remember life before cell phones?
Let me just take a minute and remind you…
If you wanted to make a plan with someone, what did you have to do?
You’d either call them…on a landline phone (some of you are like “what the heck is that?!”)… orrr find them in person and then make a plan to meet up!
You’d make a plan or book an appointment with someone and they showed up at the agreed-upon place, at a time you set, without changing the plans 10 times or canceling at the last minute!
Oh.. and remember when you could walk into a restaurant or a bar and people were actually talking to each other instead of looking at their phones all the time?!
Sounds crazy right?! That used to be a thing… pinky promise!
Don’t get me wrong though…technology in your business and what we can achieve with it is ah-maze-ing! But with how fast technology is changing, you might feel like you haaaave to have this new app that just came out! Or you haaaave to use that new program that is going to change everything for your business! Orrr you keep checking the feed on Instagram every 5 minutes to see who is interacting with your latest post (GUILTY!)…
In the end, none of that is going to help you or your business – but what it will do…is drain you of your creativity.
So, you have to start asking yourself – Are you using technology in your business…or is it using you?
I want you to ask – How is technology in your business affecting you on a deep level?
Is technology actually helping you to be more productive? Or is it just distracting you?
Do you have a habit of multi-tasking and thinking that you are getting so much done,…but to be honest you are just pushing the update button on your email every other minute…and you end up click on a link in your email and then *bam* you’re spiraling down the rabbit hole of clicking on the next thing– and the next thing — and 30 minutes later, you don’t even remember what it was that you were working on in the beginning!
Don’t freak out – you’re certainly not alone!
And good news! There are plenty of ways to set up boundaries for yourself that can help you start to use technology in your business as a tool instead of letting it control your life!
#1. It is 100% ok to not be available every single moment of the day!
It’s ok to take a moment for yourself and just breathe.
It’s ok, when you feel like it, to take a break.
My husband and I have experienced this ourselves – when we allow ourselves a break now and then and take a minute to do something completely different, we always come back more creative, gain more clarity, and are way more productive.
I recommend that you set aside specific times for completing different tasks during the day and how much time you should spend doing them – e.g. checking your emails in the morning from 9-10, social media updates from 10-11, etc.
The reason for this is so that you don’t get stuck doing something for a couple of hours that should only take, at most, 30 minutes.
What would happen if you left your phone and computer at home for 3 hours to just be present with what you’re trying to create that day?
Wouldn’t it be much nicer to leave your office, go someplace nice and inspiring, and get whatever you need to get done, rather than stay in the same environment all day and be constantly distracted by your computer or your phone – desperately trying and pushing way too hard to be creative and get things done on time…?
How To Be Present And In The “Now”
Let me tell you a story…
Back in 2016, my husband and I went to the Komodo islands to learn how to scuba dive for 14 days.
Komodo National Park is both a nature and a marine reserve in the middle of Indonesia and one of the biggest challenges with this trip for us was that we knew that there was no internet and no phone connection in this area.
Yep, that was our thoughts exactly!
In the last couple of years we let ourselves get sucked into having technology use us, instead of us using it.
The first couple of days of our trip were very strange as we slowly started to realize that we couldn’t use our phones or internet. We actually – out of habit – went to get our phones to Google things a couple of times! =)
But by day 3 we somehow started to forget to look at our phones, we started to connect with ourselves on a deeper level, and came up with/created things that came from us, not things that came from someone, somewhere else.
We started to feel calm and to see what was actually around us, we started to feel more present with every moment and really connect with what it felt like being underwater and seeing amazing things and really BE there.
Instead of documenting life, taking pictures/filming and posting it on social media to get instant gratification, while it was happening we were experiencing life without feeling any need to sharing it and enjoying every second of it to the fullest.
And then we noticed something amazing that happened… Since no one could use their phones or internet they actually started to interact with each other!
They were talking, playing games, playing guitar and singing and actually engaged with each other because they weren’t distracted by anything and were being “forced” to interact!
This trip was an eye-opener for us for sure! It’s a constant struggle to be present in the world today because of the demand that we have on ourselves of being connected and sharing what we do. If you’re like us, being the face of your own brand, you have to be present online and share things with your audience.
But what we’ve learned is that we need to set up time limits for ourselves around when to do certain tasks and to turn off all notifications on our phones and computers, because WE control when we check up on things instead of the other way around. And yes…we have the sound on our phones turned off at times during the day so that we won't get distracted from living our lives and being present in the now.
Now, I know there are many times when I fall down the rabbit hole of scrolling…and scrolling…and scrolling… without having any idea of what I’ve really been looking at or what I’ve been doing, but I try not to judge myself for that. I just witness it, be aware of it, and see how I can make a change.
How To Deal With F.O.M.O.
It’s really normal nowadays to have a fear of missing out (FOMO) on something if you are not checking your phone all the time. This is because what’s happening in the digital age is that people expect that we should respond instantly because that is what in general everyone has gotten used to doing.
So how can you train your clients, your friends, and family to not expect an instant response?
This is really vital to understand that YOU are the one setting up boundaries for your life and you deserve to set up that rule book in a way that will work for you.
So ask yourself – What is ok for you? What is the rule book for your life so that you can be there for people when you feel that it is ok and not when everybody else expects you to?
By setting these boundaries, you will be able to let go of the feeling that you might miss out on something because you have created something that works for you.
Let's say that you’ve decided that you are only going to answer emails in the morning and late afternoon. And you'll only answer the phone during certain specific times during the day.
Then everybody will know how to contact you and when they can expect an answer! Which means…they won’t be as frustrated if they have to wait to get in touch with you or receive an answer.
And if they are still upset that you’re not answering, you can always refer to your rules of how you want to be contacted.
You’re basically running your life like a business… you have hours in which you can be contacted and outside of those hours, you’re not available – closed for business!
In the end – schedule in time for digital detoxes and try to enjoy life at the fullest – being present in the now.
You don't have to be as extreme as going to a nature reserve on the other side of the planet! It can be something simple! Like having dinner with some of your friends and turning off your phone for a few hours! And why not ask the whole dinner party to do the same, so you can all be 100% present with everyone during the dinner!?
Make sure to try and connect with yourself on a daily basis and live life to the fullest!
Ann-Marie Christell – The Conscious Course
For the past 20 years, I have been an entrepreneur and have built up three different companies to several six figures.
Today I guide entrepreneurs on how to become more conscious in their lives and how they can scale their business with ease and with sustainable core values.