Because disconnecting from our devices is essential — especially as a team that builds brands and websites. We don’t want to be slaves to tech, and we don’t want our clients to be either!
After decades spent working as a designer in the fashion industry (more on that HERE), I knew I needed to strike a better balance between work and play. This demanded more than just a defined delineation between business and personal time... It also required boundaries with technology.
Many of us begin the day by checking our email inboxes before we’ve even gotten out of bed — and, at the end of the day, it’s not uncommon to log out of work channels only to spend the next hour scrolling through Instagram or perusing Pinterest.
When I set out to establish mindfulness around technology, I knew I needed better habits with my devices when I was both on and off the clock. It’s taken some time to find practices that work for me, but with some trial and error I’ve developed rituals that have allowed me to improve my relationship with tech and encourage the same within the Studio Seagraves team.
5 Ways to Maintain Healthy Boundaries with Technology
- Keep phone alerts to a bare minimum. I keep Facebook, Instagram and Twitter alerts turned off completely so I don’t get pulled into the vortex of social media. In addition, I often set my phone to Do Not Disturb and respond to text messages during dedicated time.
- Set aside tech-free time. When I’m in a good groove on a project, I can get lost in my work and stay up until the middle of the night. To counteract this, my mornings are sacred. I start each day with a Chemex of brewed coffee and take my time eating my breakfast. Afterward, I go for a walk in nature, meditate, exercise, and journal before diving into work around 11am-12pm. This means that I schedule all my calls and meetings in the afternoon, and I try to block-schedule most client meetings to preserve my energy throughout the week. This schedule increases my productivity dramatically!
- Maintain boundaries with clients. I love our clients — But we still need some space! This allows me and my team to do our best work, and in an efficient amount of time. All of our client communication is done through email, Zoom, or Google conference calls. We maintain clear studio hours, which we outline in our onboarding process and share in our company email signatures. Studio Seagraves is closed to clients on Friday, which gives us a day to focus on internal projects and ease into the weekend.
- Clear headspace. Remember those nature walks I mentioned in tip #2? Rather than listening to music or a podcast during my walks, I work on being fully present. Lately, I’ve been practicing Beginner’s Mind, a Zen practice that promotes curiosity, better experiences, and peace of mind.
- Practice EMF Protection. Sometimes we literally need to draw boundaries with technology. I keep black tourmaline crystals by my desktop computer and put a grounding mat under my keyboard. This normalizes my biological rhythms to lower stress and promote a sense of calm while I work. This practice has greatly improved my work space and inspired my upcoming line of tech products for mindfulness. Stay tuned!
Remember, there are many different ways to establish boundaries with devices — These are just a handful that have worked for me. And while I absolutely love technology and find each new digital development fascinating, I’m constantly looking for new ways to unplug and stay present and have found the experience of others so inspiring.
In what ways have you established a sense of balance in our digitized world? I’d love to hear the rituals you practice that promote mindfulness with technology!