Unplug. Unplug. Unplug.
Technology gets a bad rap. It gets blamed for burnout, disconnectedness and the fall of work-life balance.
All of that is true. Despite the fact that I resisted having a smart phone for years, I have come to love and recommend using technology to improve our wellbeing. Yes, I encourage clients to unplug as much as possible to manage their energy. However, I have found technology, especially the smartphone, can help us navigate our crazy busy world and get more energy to do what we want.
No Tech Required
While I have my favorite apps, which I discuss below, using electronics to boost our energy doesn't have to be complicated. One of my favorite smartphone functions (not limited to smartphones) is the good old-fashioned clock. Here's a few ways I use the clock function to get more done in less time, have more energy and relax.
Timer - use 1: I use the timer to wake me from my afternoon nap. Napping can rejuvenate you in the midst of a highly focused, jam-packed day and keep you going through tight deadlines. Depending on the situation and time, I'll nap from 20 minutes to 90 minutes and use my phone to wake me up. For those that don't feel like they have the time to nap, a 2002 study showed great benefit from just a 10-minute nap.
Timer - use 2: I've talked about Parkinson's law and how you can do more in less time. I admit that I can work 70 hours a week without blinking an eye. It's just the way I'm wired. However, a few years ago I realized I was taking too long to do certain tasks and that if I didn't set time limits I would spin those tasks out for hours. The solution I've found is to put myself on a timer. I can write an article in 30 minutes or 3 hours. With 30 minutes I get a lot more free time to putter in the garden or read a book. What would you do with more time?
Alarm: Taking regular breaks is essential for sustained physical and cognitive performance. I recommend to clients to use the alarm function to schedule their breathing and movement breaks. Take a breathing and movement break at least every 90 minutes to help you maintain focus, replenish your body with oxygen and get your blood flowing for more energy.
Obviously, I have a lot of love for my phone's clock function. Yet I also have a few favorite apps that help me and my clients fuel body, mind and purpose for more energy and fulfillment.
Fuel Your Body with MyOmBody
Body awareness is essential to boosting your energy and alleviating burnout. Most often we are not aware of what we are doing or feeling. We can't remember what we had for lunch much less if we took our vitamins. And we certainly don't pay attention to how a cheeseburger makes us feel versus a salad.
To boost body awareness, I recommend MyOmBody, an integrated application that helps you keep track everything that contributes to your wellbeing. You can track what you eat, your mood, how much water you're drinking, whether you took your supplements, whether you spent time with friends, and on an on. MyOmBody helps you set goals for different areas of your life and keep track of your progress.
Fuel Your Mind with Omvana
Meditation is by far the single most profound thing you can do for health. Meditation quiets the mind allowing you to better respond to stressful situation. Meditation lowers blood pressure. Meditation makes you happier (yes, even those of you who believe you can't quiet your mind). The benefits of meditation of endless.
Despite the benefits, I hear a lot of resistance to meditation. The chief complaint is that is too hard. I can relate. I've taken meditation classes and practiced (that is an operative word) for over 15 years. It's hard. A few months ago, I stumbled across an app that makes meditation a no brainer.
Omvana has become my favorite wellbeing app. Omvana provides 1000 of customizable meditations. There are vocal tracks and non-vocal tracks. You can use them separately or mix them in any way you wish. You can also record your own meditation track. The vocal tracks are as short as a few minutes to as long as 60. They cover subjects such as grounding, inspiration, weight loss, sleep and more. Omvana has changed the way I meditate.
Fuel Your Purpose with Evernote
My most used app is Evernote. I use it to keep track of everything. Ideas. Websites. Statistics for articles. Shopping lists. Business details. Directions, Travel details. Templates. Daily journal. Evernote is my brain.
But how does Evernote help me get more energy? First, I'm an info junky. But finding my info has always been an energy suck. Evernote has solved that problem. It's all in one place that is easily searchable.
I also use Evernote to track my daily accomplishments, or as I call it my success journal. Living your purpose is critical to maximizing your energy levels. I have a notebook in Evernote dedicated to my daily intentions, declarations and accomplishments. These daily journals keep me focused on my why, help me set the tone for the day and remind me during the down times of the successes I have had. I've found I'm more apt to review my Evernotes than the stack of journals I've collected over the years.
I admit to having a love-hate relationship with technology. I love the times when I get to completely disconnect in a location with no internet. But for the 99% of my life, I have learned to embrace technology to make my life easier, have more energy, and be fulfilled.
What apps do you use to boost your energy, productivity and time? Share in the comments below.