How to keep balance in virtual life

Original author: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
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In theory, technology should increase both work flexibility and productivity, but, unfortunately, the habit of using the Internet also entails evasion of work and poses a serious threat to the balance of working life. In this article, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic will show you how to reduce your addiction to the Internet .

Most of the recent debate about the imbalance in the balance of working life concerns our relationship with modern technology, namely our inability to disconnect from the Internet, that is, go offline.

In the United States, for example, almost 50% of able-bodied adults are “emailed” to email, which, according to estimates, costs the national economy at least $ 900 billion per year in the form of productivity-related losses. According to McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm, professionals spend 28% of their time reading or responding to emails. These statistics explain the international success of bestsellers like The Four Hour Work Week.

Moreover, even those people who manage to control their craving for constantly checking mail are overly passionate about other sites or applications, such as Facebook or Twitter. A growing number of people are trying to undergo a special course of treatment for addiction caused by social networks, freeing them from this excessive craving for several months. Needless to say, the excesses in using the Internet can harm not only our productivity , but also personal relationships with other people, especially if they require exceptional attention.

So, what is the best way to maintain harmony in virtual life? Below are four practical tips you can take:

1) Keep the amount of information you enter into the network

The principle of "everything is good in moderation" stems from the field of architecture, but can be applied to the handling of information. The handling of large amounts of data is usually determined by three Vs: velocity, volume, variety (speed, volume and variety). You can minimize the amount of information from the Internet by keeping these three Vs as low as possible: don't answer too fast, don't write too much and use as few channels as possible for communication. Thus, you can centralize the source of information. Remember that the intensity of your communications is a self-fulfilling category: the less you produce, the less you get.

2) Take your free time

Mark Zuckerberg described the Facebook newsletter service as the modern equivalent of television, and he is probably right. But you can't carry TV around with you, and you are successfully replacing it with networks like Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr). There is probably no better evidence for the addictive and addictive nature of social networks than the fact that we spend a lot of potentially offline time on them.

Here are a few standard steps that can help you enjoy your free time: read a book, have a notebook to write down your thoughts and ideas in it, listen to music or just watch the real world around you, it exists for something.

3) Optimize your entertainment

The main reason the Internet successfully competes for our attention with the real world is that the real world is often quite boring. People are hostages of their habits and, so that we do not speak, we always strive to make the environment as safe and predictable as possible. (We recommend reading a useful article on how to turn self-improvement into a habit. )

Then social networks come to the rescue, which can help overcome boredom caused by a sense of security and predictability. But imagine really exciting moments that can only be experienced in real life: to meet friends you haven’t seen for a long time, go on a date, visit places you always wanted to see. By experiencing such moments, you are minimally tempted to be online. So why not arrange them as often as possible?

4) Learn from those who are better

As part of a recent study, we identified the key features of those people who really do well with excess mail and “burnout” associated with modern technology. It turned out that these people are easy to climb, more conscientious and optimistic. They all plan ahead and appreciate face-to-face contacts with others. They love to meet new people and are able to maintain confidence and calmness even in stressful conditions.

Of course, some of these points are easier to implement than others. Self-training can help (the process of managing oneself, one’s capabilities and resources, which allows a person to achieve their goals). Remember, the more withdrawn, emotional, and disorganized you are by nature, the higher your risk of burnout.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the unjustified demands of others. This applies to work colleagues and personal relationships. For example, a colleague who expects you to be ready for work 24/7 is as irrational as a friend who expects you to completely disconnect from work during a very important project.

Obviously, other people can greatly contribute to our unstable balance in virtual life, and we tend to underestimate how you can effectively manage the expectations of others. Trying is definitely worth it.

PS. We recommend another article on the topic - How successful people deal with their toxic opponents.

Translation by Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult

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