3 Smart Tricks to Improve Your Technical Life
Technology was supposed to make our lives easier, but in too many cases just the opposite has happened. From our overflowing email inboxes to the ever-present risk of an ill-timed text message, technology can make our lives more stressful and more complicated than ever before.
If you are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by the technology in your life, it is time you learned a few tech tricks of your own. These simple technology tricks can help you regain control and avoid an embarrassing tech-related faux pas.
Put Your Mailbox on Hold
Whether you are working late and trying to catch up at the office or hanging out with friends late at night, the constant reminders of incoming email messages can be incredibly distracting. Email may be a great tool for online communication, but the sheer volume of messages can be literally overwhelming.
If you are feeling stressed out, it may be time to put your email inbox on hold. Putting your online life on hold is not as difficult as you might think – if you use Chrome as your browser all you need to do is download and install the aptly-named Inbox Pause extension. Once the extension is in place, you can pause and restart both Gmail and Google Apps, giving you the break you need and letting you catch up on the rest of your life.
Stop an Embarrassing Text Message in Its Digital Tracks
We have all been there – regretting the sending of an email or tech message as soon as we press send. Whether it is a case of drunk texting a former girlfriend or an ill-tempered 2 a.m. text message to your boss, the feelings of regret arise as soon as the missive is sent.
Worse yet is the feeling of helplessness when you realize there is nothing you can do to stop the message from getting through. But if you are quick enough, you may be able to stop that digital embarrassment in its tracks.
Keep in mind that simple messages go through almost instantaneously, so chances are there is nothing you can do about those. If the message you are sending contains photographs or video, however, you may be able to stop it simply by activating airplane mode on your phone. Putting your phone in airplane mode instantly deactivates its messaging capabilities, and if you are quick enough you just might stop the message from getting through.
Set Realistic Expectations
Last but not least, it is important to set realistic expectations for both your work and personal time. The easy availability of email, text messaging and other forms of technology has caused many employers to set unrealistic expectations for their employees. Suddenly the work day no longer ends at 5 p.m., and bosses feel no compunction about sending text messages at all hours of the night.
If this expectation of 24/7 availability is stressing you out, it is time to reset your priorities and set some ground rules. Having this kind of conversation with your boss, or anyone else for that matter, is certainly uncomfortable, but that does not mean you should not do it.
Try to come to a reasonable accommodation with your employer, family members and anyone else who is making your tech life more stressful than it needs to be. Whether you agree to check your work email once or twice each evening or express your willingness to help in a work-related emergency, setting reasonable expectations can reduce your stress and even help your career.
Too often the technology that was supposed to improve our lives does just the opposite. If your tech life is leaving you stressed out and unhappy, you do not have to throw away your smartphone or turn off your computer. Making a few simple changes and tweaking the expectations of others can have a major impact on your life and your relationship with the technology you use every day.