As a digital well-being coach and trainer, I often get rather blank looks when I say what I do for a living. “Digital well-being? Sounds interesting, but what does it mean?”
To me, digital well-being is the intersection of the things I believe in and that get me out of bed on cold winter days (like today); making the most of digital, work-world balance, and having freedom and flexibility in my business.
I believe that the World Wide Web and internet have given us unprecedented opportunities as business owners, workers, and people, but that we do not always make the most of them. Digital Well-being is about harnessing the awesome power of the internet to fulfil your work and life objectives and to design your business to suit your lifestyle.
Even since I picked up Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek, I have been convinced that it is possible to create new business models and new ways of working from digital. Businesses no longer need their staff to be sat behind a desk from 9 to 5 yet this still remains the status quo even through flexible working improves employee productivity and happiness.
With digital we can increasingly choose who we work for and how we create value and meaning in our work. It’s never been easier to use the social web to set up your own microbusiness – all the tools are free, you just need a good idea. A digital microbusiness can enable you to work on something you are passionate about rather then having to leave your values at the door when you go to work.
With digital we can choose where and when we work. With faster broadband speeds, cloud computing and communications technologies such as Skype, you can choose to work from any where you like – your front room, your local cafe or another country. After the success of Amsterdam last winter and as someone who tries to practice what she preaches, I am relocating to Lisbon for five weeks in December/January to write, hang out and get a fresh perspective for 2012.
In the UK, we seem to be working longer and longer hours and our digital friends of mobile, laptop and iPad mean that we are never far from our work. When you receive hundreds of emails each day, it’s tempting to spend our evenings on the couch head buried in our device instead of being with our family. Digital Well-being is using the web to work better, not longer; making smart digital choices that work for you. It’s about taking control of your email inbox, making your social media into a fun habit not a time suck, and using the right digital tools and platforms so you can be super effective.
Digital Well-being is about recognizing that we live in a world full of ‘screen time’ and having the awareness and skills to balance our on and offline worlds. Getting offline is essential, for our health and for our relationships.
If you want to learn more about how you can improve your digital well-being, then do join me and a small group of friends for a cosy morning at The Hub Islington (with it’s roaring wood fire) on Thursday 1 December. It will be 100% offline and great coffee is assured!
Early Bird tickets end today at midnight.