What does digital wellbeing look like in 2019?
Great technology should improve life, not distract from it which is why we caught up with Google’s Head of Digital Wellbeing, Rose La Prairie, the woman behind the creation of the Digital Wellbeing dashboard for Android devices, to find out what steps we can take to ensure that our smartphone use benefits our wider life….
OBSERVE YOUR HABITS
The first place to start is understanding how you use technology and how it can work best for you. You can download a tracking app or check out Digital Wellbeing on Android Pie to see how you spend your time, what apps are sending you the most notifications and how often you unlock your phone. Check in with yourself and see what habits make you feel good and what you’d like to change.
PUT YOUR DEVICES TO BED
Sleep is super important and is often underrated. Set a bedtime for your devices and give yourself time to wind down before you go to sleep.
PRACTICE DEEP WORK
Multitasking is a myth. Close all the tabs, turn on Do Not Disturb (or flip to Shhh on Google Pixel 3!) and give yourself the luxury of focusing deeply on one important task for a defined chunk of time. I’m at my best in the morning, so I will pick my biggest and most important task to work on for the first hour of the day before I open my inbox. Some people call this ‘eating the frog’.
BE PRESENT WITH OTHERS
One of the best gifts we can give to each other is our full attention. We all know the difference between someone who is listening and someone who is half thinking about something else. If you want to have great conversations, put your phone away. I try not to use my phone at dinner with others. If I want to show something, I’ll make sure everyone can see my screen so they know they still have my full attention.
DO SOME SPRING CLEANING
Turn off the notifications that aren’t useful, delete the apps you don’t want and set up your home screen with the apps that you want to spend your time and energy on. If you are trying to read more in 2019 or practice a language, put those apps on your home screen so they are easy to reach for when you have downtime.