Oh, hi…um…I’ll be with you in a second…
I just have to send this email…and tweet this link…and text my husband…and post this on Facebook…and finish this game of Words With Friends…and download this ebook to my tablet…and shoot this zombie…
Sorry, this is going to take a while. Why don’t you call my cell, leave a voicemail, and I’ll get back to you in 3-5 days?
What? That won’t work for you? You actually want to interact with me in real life???
Well, OK. But I’m not happy about putting down my gadgets. I guess I’ll try a few of these ideas for finding balance in a tech-heavy world:
- Instead of cutting back, try adding. If the idea of limiting your time online sounds daunting, focus instead on adding tasks to your day that encourage connecting with people in real life. Your schedule will become so crowded with meaningful interactions that you’ll have less room for time sucks.
- Schedule family time. It may not feel fun or spontaneous to schedule family time (or couple time), but wouldn’t you rather spend time together instead of not seeing each other at all? Try scheduling family dinner every night, no exceptions, or plan a weekly family game night.
- Choose a shut down time. Your day job ends at a certain time every day, right? (Please don’t be working all night!) Your time spent playing with your phone, video games, and your tablet should have an end time too. Try shutting down all electronics at 8:00 or whatever time works for you while still giving you a few hours for connecting with the people you love.
- Set a timer. I do this a lot. I’ll goof off on Twitter or read blogs for 30 minutes, then I’ll read a book or write for 30 minutes. I have a little pink timer on my desk that keeps me focused.
- Host a girls night. Invite your friends over for a night of yummy food, cool drinks, and hot gossip. Just one rule—all phones have to be turned off for the duration of the party. Imagine that, talking to your friends in person!
- Get outside. I always feel better after a long walk. There’s something about being in nature, smelling the flowers, and feeling the sun on your face that can remind you that life is so much bigger than your laptop screen.
How do you prevent gadget overload?