How To Have Balance In A Digital World

For most people, even a mention of the phrase “Work/Life Balance” is met with a smirk. But why has maintaining some element of separation between the personal and the professional become such a punch line? Add to that, those of us in the creative industries have typically come to expect low wages and burnout as an admissible tradeoff: the price to pay for a job you love.

And then layer on top of that the digital revolution. Our smartphones, our multiple email addresses, our Apple watches are technology addictions tha make us available any time of night or day. No longer is the act of leaving the office or powering off a laptop a signal that the workday is complete. And then there’s Covid work-from-home fatigue.

Being disciplined about avoiding technology is easier said than done. Technology is hard-wired to be persuasive and addictive just look at our TV and Netflix usage or our phone addictions. The buzzing notifications, the pop-ups, the tormenting red bubbles: that’s sort of the point.

So what’s to be done?

Presence is so important. When you are doing something, give it your 100%. If you are chatting with a friend, then engage. Why not try  getting off your phone and moving it out of sight? If you are eating lunch, then eat lunch—taste it, chew it, enjoy it. If you need some extra stimulation, why not try reading a book or doing a crossword?

If you are wondering how to spend less time on your phone and escape from your internet addiction, find small ways to make space in your day to escape from it. When you’re logged into an Oona Series class, close all of your other notifications and just focus on the fitness. Let the exercise be your only mental task for that moment.

Test out managing your time through an old-fashioned paper monthly planner or write your daily to-do lists on a pad of paper. Time management can help you map out everything, it might even reveal something unexpected. And there is no greater joy than taking a plump red pen and crossing off an item as completed on your list.

Finally, try to create a bedtime routine. There’s an apt piece of wisdom that your day starts the night before—and it is so true. So if you can, cut back on the Netflix and the mindless scrolling and opt instead for a book or a meditation exercise. Buy an analogue alarm clock and leave your phone in a separate room altogether. You might just be surprised by the results.