To ensure technology serves you rather than vice versa, follow these tips:

  1. Prioritize Human Interaction: Remember you’re human; technology should be a tool, not a master. Evaluate if your devices and apps add value or are mere distractions.
  2. Select Apps Wisely: When choosing apps, understand why you need them. Consult friends and read reviews, focusing on both positive and negative feedback. Avoid getting swayed by flashy features without purpose.
  3. Streamline Notifications: Regularly review the notifications on your devices. Implement a “notification cleanse” by setting aside a day to evaluate which alerts are necessary and turn off the rest.
  4. Go Old School Sometimes: Consider using a notebook for jotting down thoughts, as it may improve clarity and focus. Engage in activities without technology, like reading, talking, or playing board games.
  5. Set Boundaries with Technology: Establish clear office hours, especially when working from home. Stick to a schedule and have an end time. Shut down your computer and refrain from using electronic devices before bed.
  6. Be Intentional with Alerts: Customize notifications to your needs. Apple’s iOS 15 introduces a ‘Focus’ mode, allowing users to specify which apps and contacts can send notifications.
  7. Use Technology for Emergencies: If you must keep your phone close during sleep, such as for emergency calls from family, ensure it is in Do Not Disturb mode, with exceptions for necessary contacts.
  8. Take Breaks from Technology: Commit to taking regular breaks from technology. Consider having a technology-free half-day to focus on personal interaction and activities that don’t involve screens.
  9. Evaluate and Clean Up Apps: Periodically assess the apps on your devices. Delete those that you don’t use, even if you paid for them, as they can be reinstalled later if needed.
  10. Use Technology Mindfully: Make technology work for you by being intentional and thoughtful about its usage. Keep the human element in focus and don’t let technology dictate your actions or decisions.

By implementing these strategies, you can maintain control over your technology and ensure it augments your productivity and well-being without becoming a hindrance.