Our world is fast paced, busy, exciting and demanding. Work demands more and more of our brain power and focus but we’re also surrounded by the ‘Friyay’ mentality and mindfulness reminders, telling us to promptly switch off for the weekend. The declining state of our mental health as a country is largely due to the day to day stresses we ‘manage’ and often inflict on ourselves. Our phones and devices link us intimately with our workload and offer a little incentive or the possibility of truly turning off.
The ultimate work-life balance is what we all strive for, but it is a tricky one to crack. However, the answer might actually be right there in the palm of your hand. So, let’s use the devices that are connecting us so zealously with our emails and allow them to bring some much-needed organisation and downtime.
Calm is an app which professes to ‘Reduce anxiety, allow you to sleep better and feel happier’ – where do we sign up? Using meditation and mindfulness techniques, this app produces a range of unique ‘inspirations’ each day, for you to take a time out with.
Headspace has a similar premise, concentrating on meditation. You set your own time, so if you only have 3 minutes per day, on your commute, or before you begin your day, then you can still make it work for you. If starting to meditate is one of your goals, there is little reason for not fitting this in.
Buddhify, similarly to Calm, offers different options for your meditation moments as not all moments are the same. With this app you can choose the activity that you’re busy with when you’d like to do your meditation; trying to sleep, at work, on a walk or out for a run, Buddhify will customise to that activity.
If you want to get into meditation and mindfulness during your day to day without the help of an app, this article has some really helpful info on how to truly understand and practice mindfulness.
Where are you wasting time? ‘I have no time to waste!’ we hear you exclaim.
Using a time tracker such as ATracker could help you figure out if there’s a specific task that is actually much more time consuming than you realised. This might be your commute, taking up a whole 15% of your day, every day. Having the data to consult gives you the opportunity to decide that what to do with that time, is that when you use your mindfulness apps, switch off and read your book perhaps, or answer emails to get a head start on your day so you can actually leave the office on time for once?
A free way to figure out where those mysterious minutes and hours spent on your phone are disappearing to, many phones have the ability to view a breakdown of app activity. When you see that Instagram is actually taking up 80% of your phone time, that’s a solid incentive to get more creative with the way you’re spending your ‘down time’.
Our apps are constantly multiplying, so here’s another one that is absolutely here to help clear those up.
IFTTT is an organisation and productivity app which gets your apps to work together, clever, right? You can group your apps so that you don’t get multiple notifications for the same thing, plus you don’t have to constantly update them. Once grouped together, updating one app means updating them all. Initially, you might need to put some time aside to get set up, but just think of all that time you could save in the long run!
Instapaper is an app that allows you to shelve articles that you’d love to read but just don’t have time for at the moment. Getting back to your favourite reads is actually a possibility now that you’ve freed up some time using ATracker. Another plus, it’s all saved offline!
We can’t wait to get organising, reading and savouring that new found downtime!