Technology & Health: The Double Edged Sword

Technology & Health: The Double Edged Sword

Technology, it's both a blessing and a curse. You know?

It's easy to get addicted and have our tech glued to the palm of our hands: but what's the cost?

Big tech companies, the Facebook's, the Google's, they've learned that attention is finite and it's the most valuable commodity in the world. To game this attention and inject profits into their bottom line they make it as addictive as possible.

You wake up in the morning, roll over to check your smartphone for the time. You see you have 20+ discord notifications, a dozen or so emails, and god only knows how many other notifications from other platforms.

Your cortisol spikes, you're now in a reactive state of stress. Did you do something wrong? Is everything going smoothly? Which post performed best yesterday? The list of questionable "what if?" roll in.

We tend to lead ourselves to believe that we're being productive when we're plugged in: hammering away tending to a constant bombardment of notifications. It never ends, and by the end of the day we're so burnt that we're reacting in ways that aren't aligned with who we truly are; we've lost ourselves.

It's a fine line to walk. Take it a step deeper and think about your posture. You're sitting for 8-12 hours a day, shoulders and back hunched forward, neck cranked forward, maybe leaning too far forward/backwards to give your body a break from all that sitting.

Not only is it killing our posture, it's creating damage on our hips which won't reflect itself until we realize how disgracefully we're truly aging. Maybe that's 20-30 years from now. Maybe it's shorter, or longer. Who knows? What I do know is that personally, I'd rather not be that parent or grandparent that breaks a hip falling over.

We're addicted to the attention we get from social media, and instead of valuing the quality of our connection with those at the table with us, we value vanity metrics such as likes, shares and comments.

While we can agree there are no solid studies regarding the part that our tech plays within our ever decreasing health, we can agree that anecdotal evidence speaks for itself. Experience speaks for itself. Personal experience is the greatest teacher there is! Health studies in this field have been great at finding correlation, but correlation does not equate to causation.

What Are The Answers?

It's clear that while technology can really enhance our productivity, it can also weigh us down and destroy it just as easily: taking our health down the gutter with it.

The tools I'm about to share haven't only benefitted me; clients have also found greater clarity, mindfulness, alignment, focus, production and more, just by simply adjusting their habits.

Move every hour!

This is pretty self explanatory. We can grind out 60+ minutes in the gym, but all that is close to a wasted effort by how much sitting around we do outside of our "gym window."

Moving roughly every 60 minutes (yeah, you know, those reminders your smart watch gives you every hour or so? Listen to them) helps us stay awake and alert, can help us to realign our bodies, get blood flowing to promote recovery, and many more benefits.

It really doesn't have to be much, it can be a brisk walk downstairs for a glass of water, a couple light yoga poses, a walk around the building, whatever you feel you need at that time!

Set your hours, and stick to them!

This is a big one, and it's one I personally struggle with as well at times. Set your hours!

While I am a health coach, I only work online, which means all my discovery calls, coaching calls, and revenue generating activities are done in front of a screen, and I'm not always as active as you might think!

I've noticed that personally, when I spend too much screen time (for a while I was clocking over 12 hours a day) I get aggravated and apprehensive. Everything feels like an attack. Every notification becomes an inconvenience and instead of responding to people like people, I let them know they're an inconvenience and I want to be left alone. It's present in my aggressive or passive-aggressive and dismissive communication style.

To mitigate this, my office hours are my screen time. 10am mountain time to 6-7pm mountain time. That's all. Outside of that window unless you have my phone number or email you won't be able to get ahold of me - even for emergencies.

Separate the use of your devices

This has been a major game changer for me. I no longer feel obligated to jump on and answer every little notification. I've also learned that less than 10% of my notifications (discord tags or mentions, facebook, the gram, the link, doesn't matter), actually add value to my life.

To accomplish this I removed all social media and texting apps from my phone. It's that simple. I have no access to anything without being on my computer. The end.

It doesn't matter how bored or tempted to work I am, I don't even have passwords to anything stored on my mobile device: I'm completely cut off outside of my operating hours!

Spend time in nature!

Go for a walk, run, rollerblade, bike, hike, or go float your boat! Even just 20 minutes in the sun will give you more than enough vitamin d for the day!

There's no guilt, blame or shame for taking care of your health, without it you can't perform and there's no producing anything.

Pop on a podcast, or some quiet music, and get to stepping! For fun, have an experiment: go for a walk without looking at your phone. Go for another walk glued to your phone.

What did you notice? What did you experience? I know for myself that I feel a lot more centered and grounded if I ignore my phone while out in nature (minus taking some fun clips).

Slow down to speed up!

This one's key, and it's right up there in the "relentless upbringing" category. Setting your hours, segregating the use of your devices and sticking to it will help you perform better!

Instead of going through your days willy-nilly, constantly just reacting to what comes and goes through your notifications; you're focused and productive. You know you have a limited amount of time to get shit done, which creates an environment where you produce 20x more in a fraction of the time.

This has been a big one for me. The more time I take for me, the more productive and focused I am when I'm available, which has me getting done more work in less time, which means I'm off my devices a lot sooner and back to the people and things I love and enjoy in life.

Closing Thoughts

Have you joined the Sovereign Collective yet? The collective is a private community for executives and entrepreneurs who want to become the most elite version of themselves possible. It's a great place to get form reviews, assistance, share your insights/wins/breakdowns/breakthroughs and much more!

Coupled with the Sovereign Academy, which is an on-demand training platform for all things mental toughness, leadership development, and team building, I've equipped you with the tools and resources to tap into that 20x potential and 20x performance that's driving you insane by sitting around dormant.

I look forward to seeing you on the other side!