Article 28 May 2021

How tech can help you find more ‘me’ time

How much walking did you do during National Walking Month? Did you start off with the best intentions but then struggle to find the time to get out and about?

Did you know that there’s some handy tech tricks that can help you find more time in the day for that all important headspace and recommended 150 minutes of physical exercise a week. Here’s our suggestions on a few simple things you can do to create that space.

Reduce your meeting length

Back-to-back meetings? Did you know there’s a setting in Outlook that can automatically make your meetings a little shorter, so you have time for a break in between?

Why not use that precious time to do a few laps of the garden, make a drink to stay hydrated, do some stretches or just visit the bathroom!

How does it work?

In Outlook, go to ‘file’ and then ‘options’. Select ‘Calendar’ and you’ll see this screen and an option to tick that automatically shortens your meeting.

a screenshot of a cell phone

Schedule quiet time

Do you get constantly interrupted by calls and messages on Teams? Are you distracted by emails?

You can schedule quiet time in Windows 10, so you can allocate focussed time to get stuff done. You may even find having time without distractions then gives you time to pop to the gym, go for a run or call that friend you’ve been meaning to check in with.

How does it work?

Search for ‘focus assist’ in your settings and set times each day when you don’t want to be disturbed.​​​​​​​

a screenshot of a cell phone

Walking meetings

If you’re stuck in meetings all day, why not schedule at least one as a walking meeting. You can download the Teams app to your phone, plug in your earphones and off you go.​​​​​​​

Time for lunch

Schedule a lunch break into your calendar. Wherever you’re working and whatever method you use to manage your time, be strict. Let your colleagues know you need to book time out for a break to eat lunch and go for a short walk. The more people that do this, the more it could become part of our culture.

Get a step counter

You don’t have to splash out on an expensive fitness tracker, you can get a simple pedometer for less than £5 that will accurately record your daily step count. Or there are a range of free apps like the NHS Active 10.

Set yourself a realistic step goal and try to reach it each day. You don’t have to go for the 10,000 that’s been so heavily publicised.

The NHS says a 10-minute brisk walk each day has plenty of health benefits and suggest the following ways to get those steps up:

  • Walking part of your journey to work
  • Walking to the shops
  • Using the stairs instead of the lift
  • Leaving the car behind for short journeys
  • Walking the kids to school
  • Doing a regular walk with a friend
  • Going for a stroll with family or friends after dinner.