Get a Better Work-Life Balance with Technology

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Everyone loves their gadgets: their smartphones, tablets and the rest – all the computing power that once resided in huge mainframes far away is now knocking around in millions of peoples’ pockets. But there are drawbacks to this. Finding the right balance between work and leisure is a real concern for many people today. If you can’t walk away from work emails at home or from checking personal social media updates at work, it’s likely you’re experiencing unnecessary stress.  And if you never really relax, it’s unlikely you’ll feel joyful or productive in anything that you do. So, here a few tips for tech-friendly ways to rebalance the situation.

Get organized

Your smart device may not have exactly replaced the desktop computer in your cubicle, but it definitely should have done away with the old-fashioned rolodex and tear-sheet calendar. All major mobile OS platforms have standard contacts and calendar apps, but check out how social media is now integrated into RIM’s native apps in these BlackBerry PlayBook reviews. It’s just one a number of ways companies are now trying to help you aggregate vital information. It’s time to start thinking about downloading apps that will help store all your passwords in one place, and assess whether cloud storage could help you keep all your photos and multimedia files in order.

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A stitch in time saves nine, as they say. The right preparation will keep you from frantically playing catching for work when you’re sat at home, or having to cut short that vital company meeting to buy your wife’s anniversary present.  Apps like Wunderlist that help you schedule tasks can be used for both home life and work.  Make sure to set deadlines and notifications some time before completion is due. Also keep your eyes out for apps that can make certain tasks, like present buying, easier – there are a number that use information gleaned on Facebook to suggest ideas.

Simplify and Synch

The very shininess of all these new gizmos can equally lead, alas, to confusion and clutter. Just like channel hopping, switching from one device to another on a whim, and from using one useful app to downloading another, will quickly leave you wondering where exactly you left off.  This hardly helps with the old self-organization. Sticking to one platform requires discipline – especially since everyone’s out to convince you to try something new. There’s always that nagging sensation you’re missing out on something and that you need to ‘stay ahead of the game’. If you’re aiming to simplify your life though, choosing a single platform will definitely keep the stress levels down.  Then create a find a way to keep your devices, storage and backup routinely synched – the BlackBerry Bridge app mentioned in this BlackBerry PlayBook review sounds like a straightforward method. Every so often it’s also a good idea do an inventory of the apps on your device and delete any you no longer use – but careful, be sure to export any important information to alternative locations first!

Broaden Your Horizons

Of course your lovely phone thing can do an awful lot of stuff on its own – once you’ve carried out the steps above, your technology should become fairly automated. But at the same time, why not think about how you can use your device to research, book and review new real life experiences. Movie listings, cycle path maps, cook books, DIY tips, dating apps and websites – the possibilities are endless. Think about using apps like Evernote or Pinterest to create your very own bucket list to share with others. Now go out and start ticking off things on that list!

Tune Out

Mobile etiquette is not just about figuring out that’s rude to answer calls at the dinner table, or that you should only check Facebook during your lunch break at work. Yes, it’s about setting boundaries, but it’s also about creating that all important work-life balance too. Multi-tasking is all well and good, but it’s not relaxing. Learn to appreciate that it’s ok to turn the damn thing off.  Make sure there are times when you’re simply inaccessible, except to those physically near you. Work on cultivating solid relationships in person – in real life and preferably off-grid.