Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Google in partnership with the Forward Influence Network. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Google can literally help you with almost anything these days.
From Google Assistant to their digital wellbeing tools, they have you covered.
When was the last time you’ve thought about how much time your family spends on technology (yourself included)?
It’s been on my mind a lot as I have watched my children grow up and start using more tech.
Plus, I even experienced a never-ending migraine which made me take a closer look at my daily routine.
After coming across the Google self-assessment tool on wellbeing.google I knew it was time for me to make a few tweaks to my current lifestyle.
Google believes that our families should have a balanced relationship with technology, which is why they created tools like Family Guides and Family Link.
How Google helped me get my families digital wellbeing in check
Google makes staying on top of your digital wellbeing easy.
With their six Family Guides, you can address those challenging tech topics with your family and have some guidance along the way to make sure you don’t get sidetracked into another topic or end up discussing making some changes to your digital lifestyle but not actually implementing them.
Basically, you’ll be able to develop healthy tech habits together.
We started off by doing a family activity from their “Balance Offline and Online Activities Guide”.
I had already made a goal of doing a date with each kid individually each month and some family dates. However, by making an “Offline Wishlist” we were able to put some things in stone that they wanted to do.
For example, my oldest wants to do a date where we go to a cooking class and my two younger sons want us to do a camping trip.
None of the things on our offline wishlist involve technology, which means we’ll spend time actually enjoying each other’s company instead of playing on our devices.
Google does offer six guides that have activities that you can do with your family so make sure you check them out here.
But, don’t take my word about how awesome the Google Family Guides are, though. Check out what the New York Times had to say about them today. If you have access to the newspaper make sure to share photos of the feature on social media using #DigitalWellbeing.
To discover more helpful tips and tools like the Family Guide make sure you head over to wellbeing.google to find a technology and family balance that works for you.
Additional digital wellbeing steps I took
After taking the technology self assestment it was clear that technology was playing a huge role in my life. I’m not sure if this is because I work online or what, however, I decided to implement some of the suggestions that Google gave me based on my results.
- Turned off notifications on my phone: While I already keep my phone on vibrate and only have one email notification that shows that simply wasn’t enough. I have now disabled other notifications such as social media and fitness app notifications as they are what cause the real distraction.
- Disabled sounds and vibrations once I’m done with work for the day: During the workday, I have the iPad sound notifications on for things such as Trello and Slack. This is helpful while I’m working to make sure I’m remaining productive and in the loop. However, once the workday is over they draw me back in. Turning them off allows me to successfully set a healthy balance between business and family.
It’s not too late! Google can help you turn your digital wellness around too
The goal of wellbeing.google is to help you evaluate how technology fits into your life and identify which areas of your life could use more balance.
Technology should play a helpful role in your life. However, Google made their tools because they realize it doesn’t always work out like that.
In my case, my digital wellness wasn’t too off track because despite working at home full time I’m able to be very productive each day during work and avoid all distractions.
You can find wellbeing.google helpful for you if you’re:
- Looking to reduce distractions at work
- Looking to improve your focus at work
- Looking to unplug more often at home
- Looking to create a healthy technology habit that your family will pickup
- Looking for a solution to successfully manage your kid’s screentime.
AND if you’re someone who prefers video content, you’ll love the actionable digital wellbeing videos that Google has created.
Since exploring their tools I can say that I am very confident about how technology fits into our day to day life.
How do you currently feel about your family’s digital wellbeing?
I think most people these day (adults and children alike) spend way too much time online. I am guilty of it as well. It is very important to spend time with the family offline. We have a family game night, a few times a week, where we play board and card games. We go on outings as often as we are able as well. Sometimes we visit local events, sometimes we simply go for a walk and spend time out with Mother Nature. We often BBQ too, on our patio, at the lake, park, etc. Family is important. They should never take a backseat to technology.
I agree. We used to do game nights, but my oldest has so much going on afterschool that we put that on the backburner. Now we do Sunday runs at one of the trails and I’m working on incorporating some of the things from our “offline wishlist” into our schedule before the end of the year.