How to spot and stop tech stress

Are you suffering from tech stress?

It’s a question we frequently ask ourselves, particularity as our over-reliance on phones and tablets and espousing of an ‘always-on‘ culture mean that tech stress is becoming an increasingly common problem in people’s work life and home life – if you’re constantly checking your devices for emails or social media posts, or you lose it when your phone battery loses it, then you’re probably already a sufferer.

It’s a problem that may well have got a lot worse during lockdown, as people turned to their devices even more in an attempt to stay connected with the outside world.

But what are the signs of tech stress, and what can you do to stop it?

How to spot and stop tech stress

Tech stress is

Admit you have a problem

The first thing to do is spot the telltale signs of tech stress – so keep a record of how much time you spend texting, tweeting and emailing each day, and have a look at how much time you spend online in general.

If you spend too much time online – or if you feel isolated even though you’re regularly in contact with people – it’s time to do something about it.

Take time out

If you think you’re suffering from tech stress, don’t go cold turkey, just take a little downtime each day, such as shutting your devices down for an hour or so, and see if you mood improves over time.

Divide and conquer

Set certain times aside each day to answer emails and respond to social media posts and let people know you’ll only be checking your devices sporadically and encourage them to call you instead.

You should do the same for the time you spend browsing online and just set yourself certain times of day to go online.

It might also help to make a to-do list so you’ve a clear list of actions you need to complete that day – this could help you focus and stop your mind wandering when online.

Set limits

If you constantly get involved in long email chains that aren’t offering anything to you working day, asked to be taken out of them – it might make you seem curmudgeonly but it could improve productivity no end.

And if you find yourself disappearing down an internet rabbit hole, take a step back and check your to-do list for a dose of reality.

Are your employees suffering from tech stress?

It’s not always easy for everyone to spot tech stress, particularly in themselves, so as an employer you have a duty of care to your employees to spot the signs of stress and burnout, and help employees tackle the problem before it gets out of hand. You should also take a step back and look at yourself every now and again, to see if you’re suffering any of the symptoms.

Please include attribution to pluralsight.com with this graphic.

Burnout signs tech pros

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