Ironic note: I wrote this article entirely on my smartphone. It was originally a comment on a Connie Schultz Facebook post.

I am an IT professional. My work computer has SIX monitors so I can have multiple dashboards up showing me the status of my department and our clients. I also own a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone (the one with the stylus), a Samsung Chromebook Pro laptop (also with a stylus), and my home laptop which has a 50 inch HDTV plugged into it so I can watch movies online or from my personal collection.

In short, I’m a geek. I make a living and have an obsession with technology. I’m the guy my family turns to when they can’t get their tech to behave.

Having said that, I am always looking for ways to give my eyes and my brain a tech break. Here’s some of the stuff I do:

  1. Bullet journaling (http://bulletjournal.com/) – One way to back off on the technology is to “go analog”. I carry a paper journal and pen with me all the time. Using the system I linked to, I track all my todos, calendar, and notes in this journal. The journal doesn’t ding at me every time a friend posts to my Facebook feed and staring at it doesn’t stain my eyes like a screen does. There’s also research that shows writing things down helps to focus on and remember that information, which is what led me to look at bullet journaling.
  2. Kobo Aura One (https://us.kobobooks.com/products/kobo-aura-one) – OK, this is still technology, but I read a heck of a lot more with an ereader than ever before. I prefer the Kobo over the Kindle because this model ties into my library. I can check out books directly on the device and start reading instantly, without having to touch my computer or smartphone. The screen is backlit and filters blue light automatically, which helps me get to sleep better at night. As with the bullet journal, I’m focused on the task at hand, in this case reading, so there are much fewer distractions.
  3. There’s a time and place for tech – I also have some personal rules and guidelines for when the phone stays in my pocket or on my desk:

– I do not take my phone into meetings, just my journal. I do have to use a computer but I keep anything that could pop a notification on the screen closed.
– When I’m eating out with others, I keep my phone in my pocket until we’re all done eating. I focus on the food and the conversations
– When I’m watching TV, I only pull out the phone to do a quick IMDB search about what I’m watching. I’m already staring at a screen, after all, so why add another to the mix?

Please let me know what you think and if you have your own ways to curb your tech usage in your life.

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