EPMEPM: First Person

Why you should switch off your phone

As technology’s impact on our lives increases, our brains are forced to change the way they work. Heidi Walkinshaw looks at how our physiology has adapted to embrace tech, and its effect on the way we live.

Our love of the bells, dings, whistles supplied by technology has created an addiction. As a result, we find that our brains are in the process of being rewired to cope with the demands that technology places on our everyday lives.

Recent studies have shown that our physiology has evolved, leading to altered memory, sleep patterns and even our attention spans. One of the more fascinating stats to come out of these studies is that humans, on average, now have an attention span at an impressive eight seconds, which is less than that of a goldfish.

In a space where the next step of our evolution is a VR chip inserted into our frontal lobe, it’s imperative to think about our people – and how this constant change and desire to be the next social media superstar is affecting their physical and mental health on a daily basis.

With market fluctuations and a global marketplace, pressures and expectations not just on ourselves but also from our consumers are far greater than ever before. We are in a world where patience levels are waning and the wants of the consumer can be endless, such is the nature of the environment that the technological revolution has created.

In a space where the product is so volatile and ruled by the uncertainty of emotion, it is imperative that we equip our people with the right tools and resources to manage and, above all, cope with the nature that is this industry.

There shouldn’t be an expectation to be answering emails into the wee hours of the night or early hours of the morning.

Over recent years, I have found an interesting dynamic that has shifted while working with teams and particularly in one-on-one sessions. In an average monthly session, it has become necessary when providing support to property management teams to have a safe space to purge the burdens that they have taken on throughout the space of their long month; to assist with relieving some of that pressure and allowing them to reset, renew and refocus to get through the days and months ahead, and to focus on both their personal and business goals.

One area that is often encouraged is that it is okay to switch off those phones. There isn’t, or shouldn’t be, an expectation to be answering emails into the wee hours of the night or early hours of the morning.

Consider the expectations and potential long-term demands that you are setting up by ingraining these habits early in the customer relationship. We can all be guilty of this at times, but it is important for your long-term mental and physical health to have time to switch off the devices and wind down your brain to allow it to repair.

The team at Thrive Global talk about the benefits of locking the phone away, or at the very least putting it down and finding other things, be it meditation, reading, relaxing or even exercise, to release the good endorphins that we need to feed and keep those neurons in our brains at their happiest.

Technology can be a beautiful thing when harnessed effectively to free up space in our lives to reconnect on a real human level.

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Heidi Walkinshaw

Heidi Walkinshaw has been immersed in property management for over 14 years, dealing in all aspects from leasing, property management, business development and team management. For more info visit realplus.com.au.