It's no secret that technology has become a major addiction for most of us! Toddlers before they can even speak, are using tablets. Teens spend much of their time socializing online, and adults are using technology for nearly everything these days! Our phones are often times the last thing we scroll through before bed and the first thing we pick up when our eyes pop open in the morning. We feel naked without our phones, and feel incredibly anxious when our internet isn't working!
I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to using technology to get through the day. I once was challenged to not use technology for one whole day and before I could even stop to think about it, I immediately spat out, "No, there's NO way I can do that, my business is run online...." and I continued with a bunch of other excuses for how that would absolutely not be possible. But the real takeaway from that moment was how I felt. The thought of banishing technology for just one day literally made me sick to my stomach - just the thought of it! My hands began to sweat, I immediately started feeling anxious. - All signs that I've become so dependent on it, that that one-day challenge is probably exactly what I need! Yet, I still haven't worked up the guts to do it, even three years later!
The U.S. is one of the most advanced nations on the planet, yet were the most depressed. Is there any relation to technology and happiness? We've all heard how social media has made many of us feel blue. We constantly compare our lives to other's, seeing them having their fun, traveling the world, driving the cars we want to drive, living in the big spacious homes we want to live in. We're reportedly more lonely these days, even though we're constantly connected to others - all over the planet- at the touch of a button!
Technology with all of its amazing benefits, is not always what's best for our health, our happiness, and even our productivity at times! Technology can be a huge distraction, that's not news! We all stop what we're doing regularly to check that text message or take a break from work to check Instagram, sometimes finding ourselves spending way too much time on our phones, and less time being productive.
Technology doesn't only distract focus from our daily tasks, but it can also impact our goals and dreams too. Gone are the days of good ol' day dreaming. Who has time for that when we can log into YouTube and watch other people actually living theirs!?
The truth is, while technology certainly has its advantages - and I'm in no way condemning it - it can still play a negative role in our lives, especially if we have a hard time limiting it, or knowing when to put it down and actually start living our lives!
I've recently put down the phone as part of my evening and morning routine (ok most days, I'm still having a hard time balancing technology in my day) in order to plan time to journal. With an actual pen and paper. Gasp! Yes, I honestly couldn't believe how much my hands have ached from writing only a few sentences, it's so out of practice - and my handwriting, well it looks like I haven't written anything in years! But what I've found just in a few short weeks, like many other's already know, is that journaling can improve health by reducing stress AND it's been found to actually make you a better problem solver too! The simple act of writing things down and journaling can help you clarify your goals, thoughts, and help you put things (and your day!) into perspective.
I start each morning writing down a few things I'm grateful for in my PROSPR Journal/Planner, which has cleverly added space in the organizer each day for morning and evening gratitude, journaling, daily to-do's, scheduled family time, and even gives you a spot to list your successes and failures of the day - to give you a chance to reflect on your day and see how you can make changes to have a more successful following day! By writing down things we are grateful for each day, we are setting a positive mood for the day and building our own happiness. Practicing gratitude has been shown over and over to improve mood and set you up for a better, more successful, happier day, and I absolutely believe it, as I've watched my mood and my day's go smoother over the last little while since I've started doing this practice.
Journaling and organizing your day is not only great for helping you to become healthier and happier, but it also helps you create a more successful work-life balance. 67% of high achievers put their goals in writing and 81% make and stick to their to-do list every day. By setting up a written to-do list, it helps prioritize your day, helping you figure out the most important tasks that need to get done, and keeps you on track for both the short and long-term goals you would like to achieve as well.
Billionaire Richard Branson carries a notebook with him every day and has said that it has been one of the most potent tools to his success! Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is also a big note taker, preferring to jot down his ideas and to-dos with pen and paper. Many business owners report purchasing planners for their employees to help boost employee productivity on the job!
Taking the time to journal and plan out your day helps put your day in perspective, keeps you on track, keeps you motivated to finish tasks and reach your goals, and is also great for mood and health too. I've also found that it has helped me realize the days I'm not getting in enough family and social time, so I end up scheduling it in in my week, which also makes me happier as time with others is important being that we are social creatures! Unfortunately, many of us simply don't make time in our busy days for it. By scheduling it in, writing it down, and actually sticking to it - I have found this to be key in helping me achieve a more successful work-life balance.
While writing things out in a planner and journaling can seem very old-fashioned, especially in this digital era, it's obvious it still has it's role in modern society, as many have found better success in reaching their goals and getting through their days, with more happiness and gratitude, and overall better health and even less stress!
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