Technology is in our lives for the better or worse. It is in our hands to make the most of it, not by using it non-stop but by finding the right balance so that it can help us in our every day life rather than drain us. Yes, technology is a paradox as it can save us time but at the same time take it away without us realising.
It is now the norm to use mobile technologies to gain autonomy over when and how long we work, yet ironically, we end up working all the time and feeling as if we don’t have enough time to relax and unwind. The long blocks of free time we used to have and enjoy are now constantly interrupted by our smart devices. Bling!
This situation tires us cognitively, and breaks up our leisure time in a way that makes it hard to use the time we have for something that will relieve stress or make us happy. This is ‘time confetti’ a term coined by Schulte which amounts to little bits of seconds and minutes lost to unproductive multitasking. Each bit doesn’t seem quite bad, collectively though, all that confetti adds up to something more harmful than you might expect.
When I came across this term, very recently, it suddenly clicked in my head as I finally understood where my spare time went. It hasn’t actually gone anywhere it is still there but it is now fragmented in little pieces throughout my day, broken up into: messages, emails, Twitter, Facebook and endless braindead browsing. It has become teeny tiny confetti and it’s all over the place!
In education, technology is everywhere: teaching, learning, communicating. It is a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways, from making it easier for teachers to create instructional materials to enabling new ways for learning but can also become overwhelming, draining and counterproductive if not used mindfully. As teachers, we need to be mindful of its use both within and outside of the classroom.
In my endeavour to finding a work/life balance and achieving the well sought after state of teacher wellbeing, the time confetti realisation hit the nail on the head got me thinking of how to avoid it. Here is what I plan on doing to stop that from happening.
I plan on making all those fragmented time pieces into delicious, big, chunks of time to get my teeth into (just like confetti cake!), to destress and unwind.
- Switch the phone off outside of work hours.
- Go for walks without listening to music, enjoy the scenery and sounds of nature in.
- At the end of the day, even if it’s a really bad one, try to find something positive and focus on that.
- Make time to exercise, endorphins help you destress naturally.
- Take time out from your smart devices, daily.
- Create a schedule for yourself where you allow time to do what makes you happy and make it a priority.
In a nutshell, turn that confetti time into confetti cake by using technology mindfully for your wellbeing.
Let’s make the most of it and focus on quality over quantity.
Like and share this post and leave a comment below with other ways to avoid time confetti and enjoy our much deserved leisure time.
Till next time…