Digital Stress – Tips to Successfully Reduce Digital Stress

What is digital stress?

In essence, stress arises when demands are placed on you that you cannot cope with using your current abilities, resources, and capabilities. This naturally means that stress can be triggered by different situations in every individual.

Digital stress specifically relates to a type of mental strain induced by the use of digital technologies. There are various factors within these technologies that can trigger stress. For instance, you may feel stressed because you sense an overload of information, are unsure about how to navigate these technologies or feel constantly reachable. Depending on the cause of your digital stress, there are various approaches to finding solutions:

Personal – Focus on your personal skills, abilities, resources, and attitudes:

  • Create conscious rituals and boundaries: Say “No” deliberately to disruptions and distractions from digital technologies. Establish your own “digital opening hours” – when and how often do you check emails? Allow yourself offline periods, both in private and at work.
  • Work on your inner attitude and mindset: Try to be open to the benefits of technological advancements. Reevaluate your personal beliefs and motivations. View digitalization as an opportunity for lifelong learning.
  • Prioritize relaxation and quiet moments in your daily life: Schedule dedicated relaxation times in your daily routine. Deliberately shape moments of relaxation (e.g., with mindfulness exercises or short meditation). Ensure real breaks in the sense of Paul Hörbiger: “Recovery does not consist of doing nothing but in doing what we otherwise do not.”

Organizational – Focus on your personal time and self-management, as well as your work organization:

  • Time and self-management: Prioritize your tasks (urgent / not urgent and important/unimportant). Plan sufficient buffer times (60/40 rule or 60/20/20 rule). Avoid multitasking! It’s better to tackle one task at a time.
  • Work organization: Create transparency and clarity. Make clear agreements regarding your presence, absence, and response times, both internally and externally. Ensure effective expectation management with customers, colleagues, and superiors. Utilize the out-of-office assistant and mailbox message strategically.

Technical – Address the technical factors causing stress directly:

  • Mindful handling of technology in daily life:(Temporarily) turn off or mute devices when not in use. Segregate personal and professional devices (e.g., smartphones). Use only useful and supportive tools – as few as possible, as many as necessary. Be mindful of the use of notification functions like push messages.
  • Dealing with the complexity and reliability of technologies: Make use of training and support offerings in your company (e.g., tutorials, IT support).Foster discussions with colleagues about best practices. If you feel uncertain about the reliability of a tool, always prepare an alternative solution as a backup, such as dialing in for video conferences or having a PDF version of a PowerPoint presentation.

Digital technologies are an integral part of our lives, but they must be used in moderation and with discretion to avoid digital stress. By working on your personal, organizational, and technical skills, you can develop a healthier relationship with the digital world and reduce your stress levels. Approach your digital habits mindfully, and you’ll find that you have more control over your digital life and can overall feel more relaxed.

Hope you enjoyed reading it! Looking forward to your comments and feedback.

Very truly yours,

ILona B. Schukina

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