Five ways to use technology to fight tech-driven stress

Eliminate distractions when online with tools like RescueTime, Focus or Freedom

Technology produces plenty of anxieties but it can also be key in alleviating the stress it brings

Technology produces plenty of anxieties but it can also be key in alleviating the stress it brings

 

From the pressure to keep up with social media to the irritating beeps and buzzes of devices, technology produces plenty of anxieties.

But it can also be key in alleviating the stress it brings. Here are five sources of tech stress and how you can fight them:

1 Distraction Whether it’s a constant stream of colleagues knocking on your door or your tendency to fall into a Buzzfeed quiz hole, distraction is a major contributor to workplace stress.

Rein in online distractions with tools like RescueTime (which tracks how you spend your time online), Focus (which blocks distracting websites) or Freedom (which can keep you offline altogether).

2 The demanding boss Have you got a manager who emails you after hours, and expects a response before the next business day? Set up an email filter that sends you a text message when they email you (so you can stop constantly checking your inbox).

3 The draining commute Your commute can be a productive and energising part of your day. For a productive commute by transit, install a newsreader like Feedly or Flipboard and use it to follow news in your field and related industries.

For an energising commute by foot or bike, combine your commute with a workout by using Spotify’s Running feature to get a playlist calibrated to your pace.

4 Fear of missing out Social media makes that fear of missing out a lot tougher because we’re constantly subjected to the tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates about all the stuff we’re not doing. If you’re not attending a conference or festival, for example, you can use Tweetdeck to filter out any tweets about the event.

5 Sleeplessness When you’re facing a major deadline or a difficult issue at work, bedtime can be a nightmare: instead of falling asleep, your brain fixates on work and ramps up your anxiety levels. Listening to an audiobook from Audible – something light and funny – can keep your mind off my work; Audible even offers a sleep timer that automatically shuts off your phone after 15 or 30 minutes.

Copyright Harvard Business Review 2015

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