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Gretel DeRuiter

Gretel DeRuiter

Executive Editor, MGT

5 Steps to Reduce Tech-Based Stress

The technology you often need for your fundraising career can help you connect with more people, but it can also create stress that affects your health and your relationships. Many people find it hard to turn off their phones or stop checking messages, and interacting with technology can become an addiction. So what can you do to reduce the stress that comes from using technology? 

Try this process:   

1. Notice the issues. 

  • Pay attention to your stress triggers when you’re using technology. Do you get upset after each text message or email? Is social media creating a fear of missing out?  
  • Track how much technology you use for one week. Many smart phones do this for you automatically. Pay attention to how you are feeling with each piece of technology you use. 

2. Make a list of your tech tools.  

  • Write down every piece of technology you use, including fitness watches and other tracking tools.  
  • Next, write down how each piece of technology affects you in a positive or negative way.  
  • You may use several tools and devices for work. Highlight the ones without which you can’t work effectively.  
  • Cross off the list those devices that are not essential and put them aside. 

 3. Clean up your connections.   

  • Pare down your contacts and delete those you no longer need or who cause you stress. 
  • Turn off notifications that aren’t critical and get rid of unnecessary subscriptions.  
  • Clean out your email inboxes and eliminate old messages. Consider setting up automated apps that can sort emails and delete them faster.  

 4. Make a plan. 

  • Try to avoid distractions by having a plan each time you turn on a computer or phone. What do you want to accomplish, and how long will you need to do it?  
  • Turn off and put away any devices that aren’t essential. 
  • Build in time away from technology, such as a weekend without devices or television. 

 5. Create reasonable expectations.    

  • Give yourself the chance to work through each of these steps without putting pressure on yourself to change too fast.  
  • Inform your family and friends about the changes in your technology usage. They need to understand you’ll be available less on social media and to respect that you’re turning off some notifications to reduce stress. 
  • Set up “away” messages on your phone and email so others will know when they can reach you.  
  • Create specific windows of time to return calls or messages.  

Pay attention to how technology affects you. Evaluating how much you interact with tech tools and making some changes in your daily routines with these tools can give you a better sense of control and reduce your stress.

By the Numbers

Consider the recruitment opportunities for your organization that these stats indicate:

  • About 63 million Americans (25% of the adult population) volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.
  • These people spend an average of 52 hours/year volunteering.
  • 72% of volunteers are involved with only one organization, while 18.3% are involved with two.

Random interesting stats presented monthly from various sources.