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Digital Wellbeing

It is essential to be mindful of your own wellbeing and that of others, especially when you are learning and socialising digitally, as it can be challenging to define boundaries between work and relaxation. Try to create a healthy relationship with technology, where you are in control. Take a look at the tips below to find out how to encourage a healthy work/life balance and cope in a digital world.

A quick guide to taking care of your digital wellbeing

Watch this short video to see how you can help manage your digital wellbeing.

Three people in a meeting.

1. Be comfortable

Aim to set up a dedicated work space in a quiet area with minimum distractions. If you can, work from a desk/table with a comfortable chair, rather than being slouched on a sofa. Having the correct posture when using equipment can reduce the risk of injuries like back and neck strain, visual fatigue or repetitive strain injury. For more information, see the be comfortable section of the Digital Wellbeing online course.

2. Avoid overload - take 20

It's important to schedule your working day effectively so you know when you'll be working and when to switch off. This provides structure for your day, helps you manage workload and ensures you have enough breaks, contributing towards a healthier work/life balance. Scheduling regular breaks can help avoid fatigue and other health issues. During these breaks, move away from your work area, stretch your muscles, change your posture and move your eyes to look at different distances. You might want to try the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain - every 20 minutes you've been looking at your screen, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Try using apps like Microsoft Planner and To-Do to help you get organised and track your work.

Meeting at a round table.
Do not disturb in iOS.

3. Be in control

Constant notifications can be distracting, stressful and frustratingly addictive. Consider the notifications you get popping up from apps like Teams, Moodle or Outlook messages. Think about what notification settings you want on your apps and your device that will work for you; and remember to turn off work related notifications when you are not working or on leave. Try to check your email a small number of times throughout the working day so you can concentrate on your to-do list. To take email mastery to the next level, try using Inbox Zero to manage your mailbox. Consider using MyAnalytics to set aside focus time during the working day to get stuff done. It's a good idea to discuss working times with your team to help manage expectations of replying to messages outside of their work time or agree to no 'non-essential' communication between certain times, like 7pm-7am, to help maintain a better work/life balance.

4. Get in the right mindset

Have a go at getting yourself into a routine and positive mindset to do your work - you'll feel more motivated and productive. If you're working off campus, you might go for a short walk as a 'commute' to work to prepare yourself for the start of the day and have short, social catch-up meetings with your team on a daily basis to avoid feeling isolated. Try to have shorter, more focused meetings that allow for a quick break before the next one starts, or have a mini break in the middle of longer meetings. Consider turning on your camera when in your video calls - being able to see facial expressions and some body language can reduce meeting fatigue and make the meetings more meaningful and personal.

Walking down a grass path.
Someone taking a photo of a woman in a cafe.

5. Create a positive online identity

When it comes to apps used for communication and collaboration, always remember there are people on the other side of the screen and we all need to do our part to be kind to each other and make the digital working environment a more positive place. Fostering a positive online identity is an important part of building your reputation. Social media and forums are a positive way for sharing and disseminating research etc. You might want to have separate accounts for work and personal life. It's important to consider what you post and comment online - everything you do forms part of your digital footprint. Aim for a positive and accurate online identity which reflects who you are. Be mindful that social media can portray inaccurate representations of people - as it often presents people 'at their best' and can make others think some people's lives are better than they are.

6. Extra support

Digital technology is part of everyday life and it can affect our entire wellbeing. Although many benefits exist with technology, there are some potential dangers. To learn more, take a look at the Digital Wellbeing online course.

Two hands reaching out to eachother.

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