​​For as transformative as modern technology is, at the end of the day, it’s still just tech and thus a tool that we choose how to use. While the modern world can feel isolating and anxiety-inducing, when used properly, modern tech can help us build happier and more productive lives.

Establishing a Work-Life Balance

This is perhaps the most imperiled aspect of modern working life. The interconnectedness of tech and ease with which we can now be contacted 24/7 means we’re prone to getting constant messages. It is, therefore, essential to avoid falling into the trap of answering messages outside working hours, no matter how “small” or “quick” they purport to be. Establishing work-life boundaries is essential for achieving a sense of balance and avoiding burnout. By contrast, you likewise want to avoid distractions while working. If you feel overwhelmed or keep getting sidetracked, try turning off work notifications while off duty and turning off social notifications once you’re back on the job.

Quality Over Quantity

It’s now possible to connect with more people in more places than ever before. Having 1,500 “Friends” or 5,000 “Followers” on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t make those connections genuine or meaningful, however. The same is true if you generate impressions on those platforms for social media marketing that don’t, in turn, lead to conversions or engagements with your posts. For personal and professional online posting alike, focus on quality rather than quantity. A tight-knit circle of friends is worth more than those 1,500 Facebook “Friends,” and achieving actual conversions with several customers is more beneficial than simply blasting out posts lots of people see but nobody actually clicks on or cares about.

Review Progress

When you’re online for hours on end day after day, aspects of your life can start to blend together or feel fragmented like so many still-open browser tabs. As such, it’s a good idea to pause and reflect. Offline, this can mean reading, meditating, and simply unplugging from the digital world for a while. Online, it can mean doing a personal or professional status check. Review your vital stats, see what information is out there about you and your company, look at what customers are saying, and take some time to decide what you want to do next.

Taken together, these small but effective tech steps can help you lead a happier and more productive life online and offline.