BlogHer Writing Lab – January Theme: Balance
January 5 – Prompt: Has technology helped you achieve a better work/life balance?
Technology is a great thing. When it works.
For me, I use all manner of apps to keep track of things so that I can free my mind up for more interesting pursuits. I use Todoist on my phone and PC (and it’s web-based too) to keep a massive to-do list. I have a shopping list on my phone that is synced with the same app on my husband’s phone so we can quit making multiple trips to the store. Google calendar helps me know what’s happening at any given hour of any day. And I can see my husband’s schedule so we can avoid those moments where we both need to be doing something else but someone should be home with our son.
This is all great and wonderful. It has its downside too. I have e-mail and Internet on my phone, which means I have to make a special effort to get away from work. Social media, like Twitter and FaceBook, will draw me in and suck up my spare moments if I let them. And all the games! Ugh!
And then there are those moments when your technology fails. I’ve come to rely on my phone for its alarms and alerts. But if the phone is dead, I’m lost. Not totally lost, but I feel frantic. Yet 15 years ago, I didn’t need any of these things. I know I can live without them. I probably did better without them.
Occasionally my OCD will consume me with the need to check my phone over and over again until I can’t sleep. I find myself unable to function well at all. Because of technology.
For better or worse, technology is here to stay. It is what it is. I work to not let it dominate my life. I find ways to tune it out. But I use it to keep my brain uncluttered if I can, so that I can focus on other things that need to be done.
On the whole, I think it helps. But I suspect I’d be happier if it were gone!