In this episode, Megan shares her personal struggles with tech addiction and offers five actionable strategies to limit tech usage for improved well-being.

Have you ever felt worried about your screen time? In this episode, you’ll learn practical methods to reduce tech dependency and reclaim control over your time and mental space. While technology makes our lives more comfortable, Megan emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and creating healthy habits to foster a balanced relationship with tech.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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  • Set Times for Email Dipping: Establish specific times during the day for checking and responding to emails to prevent constant distraction and maintain focus on important tasks.
  • Establish Downtime Before the Week Begins: Plan and schedule dedicated downtime periods in your calendar to disconnect from technology and prioritize self-care and family time.
  • Set Timers for Social Media: Use timers to limit the duration of social media usage, gradually reducing dependency and reclaiming valuable time and energy.
  • Remove Apps and Email from Your Phone: Experiment with removing addictive apps and email from your phone to minimize temptation and break unhealthy habits.
  • Create a Boring Phone: Make your phone less appealing by turning on grayscale mode or choosing neutral wallpapers, reducing the allure of constant screen engagement.

Resources Mentioned

Food Photography by Ikram Ali

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Click for full script.

EBT511 – 5 Ways to Limit Tech

Intro  00:01

Hey food bloggers. Thank you so much for joining me in this mindset and self-care focused episode here on Eat Blog Talk. One of the reasons I started a blog talk was to hold a space to talk about the importance of mindset and self-care. Being an entrepreneur can be a lot. If we are not taking care of ourselves, then getting actionable information about SEO Pinterest or whatever else is all moot. I will meet you back here every Wednesday to discuss various mindset and self-care topics. So you have the energy and space to tackle the rest.

Sponsor (Ikram Ali) 00:37

We all know what it’s like to be completely swamped in our business from juggling a dozen or so hats. And sometimes you just need a little help. If you’re ready to elevate your blog with stunning imagery, but lack the time I got you covered. I’m Ikram Ali, the photographer behind Ikram Ali Photography. I use my background in Pastry Arts and cake decorating, blending my culinary expertise and my photography skills to create premium still images and engaging short form videos for food bloggers and brands alike. If you’re ready to start updating old content, or just needing to get food photography checked off your list, I’m here to help you can go to the services page on That’s spelt, Ikram, I-K-R-A-M, Ali, A-L-I I’m excited about the prospect of working together. Bye friends.

Megan Porta  01:32

Hello again, food bloggers. Welcome to this self care and mindset focused episode of Eat Blog Talk. Thanks for joining me again today. In this episode, we are going to talk about five ways to limit tech. Technology is so great in so many ways, but so detrimental in other ways. I think most of us can relate to that. It really has brought so many good things into our lives in recent years, especially in our businesses. Having that ability to connect with people literally across the world from us in the blink of an eye is super valuable. I can get on Zoom with someone from Australia or Japan and make an in person connection just like that. It’s pretty amazing. Outside of the business realm, you can keep up with loved ones by logging into Facebook or Instagram or wherever. There’s email communication, smartphones, they’re all honestly pretty miraculous. If you think about it. It’s literally a miracle. How in the world does it work? Like when you think about it? How does tapping a phone, a device connects you with people from across the world. It’s crazy. 

Megan Porta  02:48

But then there are those downsides that we all know about too. There’s phone addiction, tech addiction, overuse the intrusion on life and on being present for ourselves and for our loved ones. There is cyberbullying. Not to mention the effects of too much screen time. If you try to go to bed after you’ve been on a device for two hours, it definitely affects your sleep. So there’s that to the whole topic of kids and tech is something that gets me all riled up. You guys have probably heard me talk about this before on the podcast, but I just hate that technology is in the hands of every kid every day, multiple hours a day. It just doesn’t sit well with me. Personally, I’ve had to work my butt off to get tech time under control for me. And I consider myself to be a highly disciplined individual. So how can I expect my children, one of whom definitely has more discipline issues than most people to rein it in with their tech. My husband and I have continued to stay strong with not giving our boys phones. We’re on a hold out. And we’re going to do this as long as we can. We don’t want them to have phones. For all the reasons I mentioned above. It just hasn’t felt right. And yes, there’s that whole piece of the puzzle that makes us question if we are making them stand out too much by not having a phone when everyone else around them does. That’s one thing that we do struggle with. And this isn’t to say that we won’t get them phones. We’ve actually considered it and just providing them with something standard that doesn’t have social media apps on it or something like that. But this topic still really gets to me.

Megan Porta  04:42

I have found myself in really dark places with phone addiction and allowing myself too much computer time and email obsession and I could go on and on and being a pretty disciplined human being. I know that others have to find themselves in this situation as well. Too much tech is just not healthy, you can feel it in your bones, which is why I would love to bring this topic to the table in this episode. So let’s talk through five ways to limit Tech because I believe that your soul needs it. And will thank you immensely. 

Megan Porta  05:22

Number one set times for email dipping. Email is a really big issue for me, I have four email accounts like I know most of you have multiple accounts as well. And this in itself is overwhelming, because that’s a lot of email to sort through on a daily basis. One of those accounts, I outsource and that feels good. But as someone who values sincere connection with people, it is really important to me that I personally email people back in a timely manner, who reached out to me expecting reciprocation. In my Eat BlogTalk email, if you email me, I will always be the person emailing you back, I think it’s really important to show up in that way for this business, so I can easily obsess over this, I obsess about getting back to people in a timely manner being sincere, and just being there. And I will put a disclaimer here that this is something that I still do not have control over I am a work in progress. It is a constant, slippery slope for me, if I get one little pinky toe on that slope, I am suddenly flying down the hill, and I have to trudge back up and start all over. So just know that this topic is very important to me. It’s something that I’m constantly trying to figure out. So let’s do it together. The one thing that works for me when I noticed I’m flying down that slippery slope and I need to reach out and take hold and get myself back up before it gets too far down the hill is establishing times of the day, when email dipping is allowed. I have to massively exercise my discipline by not dipping into email right away in the morning. Otherwise, I feel like I just allow myself to do it all day long. So what I do when I’m on my A game, is I go into my email around lunchtime, for maybe 20 minutes. If I need a little bit more, I’ll do 30 minutes. Then I close my email when I feel like I’ve replied to enough things and I do another email dip right before signing off of my computer for the day. I am super productive in the mornings, which is why I don’t allow myself to go into email because it can just send me down a spiral of tracking things down and replying to people and oh, yeah, that reminded me of that thing. And I have to go do that. It’s not worth it. For me, just getting into my work right away in the morning makes me highly productive, I get a bunch done. And then I feel much more equipped to go into my email once it’s around lunchtime. 

Megan Porta  08:08

Something else that really fosters success with this is doing time tracking. I’ve talked about this before on the podcast, I love time tracking, it’s so powerful. I use Toggl, it’s T-O-G-G-L. It is an app and a web browser tool that you can log into in both places. So your phone and your laptop. It’s free, you can just track everything that you do. I used to use it on a quarterly basis or so when I was just trying to refine my systems. But now I use it all the time, I turn on my computer in the morning and immediately plug in what I’m working on. When I’m done, I press stop. When I’ve started something else, I press play. I love this tool, it keeps me on track. And it keeps me out of my email because if I want to go back and forth between email in working, I have to go to Toggl, press stop. Type in what I’m doing press start and that’s way too much of a pain. So for me, it’s just easier to keep the timer going with what I’m doing and report the email later. You can also run reports and toggle so you can see if you’re spending too much time on email. At the end of the week, you can pull up the email project and see how much time you spent on it that week and make changes accordingly. If you struggle with your inbox like I do, try setting times for yourself this might be another good way to get a handle on that email dipping, you can simply set a timer and just not go over a certain timeframe. Doing this really makes me focus and get as many emails kicked out as I possibly can. It makes me highly productive. You might find that a world of time suddenly opens up for you to work on other projects or do other important things. Once you can set a structure around your email dipping and get a handle on it. 

Megan Porta  09:56

Number two establish downtime before the week begins. I have been using this strategy for years. And it changed the game for me, taking that time to sit down before a week starts. And it literally does not take you more than 15 minutes to do this not only helps to limit tack time, but it also just makes you a boss when it comes to time management and productivity. Before Monday morning even happens, so Friday afternoon or Saturday or Sunday sometime, sit down with your calendar, establish when you will be starting your work and ending your work each day. And put it on your calendar if you need to. For me, my calendar is my boss. So whatever’s on there is what I do. You could even go so far as to write in morning routine if you have a morning routine and set those times aside in your calendar. And even evening time if you want to block out time for your family and just know that you are going to put your tech down when evening time starts. By doing this, you are creating a really healthy boundary for yourself. Not just with your time but with technology too. For me, tech time isn’t allowed in my morning routine at all. It’s not allowed in my evening downtime. So by establishing that downtime, I’m also eliminating tech time. Something I’ve been doing lately is keeping my computer downstairs which is where my office is at all times. Unless I absolutely need it upstairs there are those times when I do need it. But most of the time I don’t. That way it’s in the basement to go get it would be a huge pain and there’s no temptation upstairs to open it. And just do that last minute little thing on the computer. I just figure I can get to it tomorrow, I don’t need to go down another rabbit hole in my day. 

Megan Porta  11:49

I’ve also been trying to keep my phone in a separate room in the evenings. Again, just so there’s no temptation. It just feels good to not have tech nearby too. And I’ve noticed lately that I’ve even been forgetting about it, which has never happened to me before. I’ve always known exactly where my phone is in relation to me. There was a morning just a few days ago when I woke up and I was like, where’s my phone, I had no idea where my phone was. And I think this is the first time that had happened in many years, probably since I first got a smartphone. And when I realized that I didn’t know where it was I searched around the house, I found it. And I actually felt really good about that I gave myself a huge high five, I would just recommend experimenting with some version of this. Establishing your downtime before your week begins and just being really strict with yourself. As far as when you put your tech down when you start tech, when you open tech to start the day, set some boundaries. And this will really change the game for you if tech does creep into your downtime. 

Megan Porta  12:56

Number three set timers for social media. It took me years, I’m not kidding, literally years, but I am now at a point where I can say that I have completely weaned myself off of social media. I am so proud of that. There was a point in my life where I was a Facebook fanatic. I was on the app all the time, scrolling and reading, absorbing all that screen time posting blah, blah, blah, you know that drill. Then it turned into Instagram scrolling, forever scrolling reading. And then there was a point where I realized it was completely sucking the energy from my life, from my body and mind and interfering with everything in my life. Honestly, this is something that did not happen overnight, but I made the decision to cut back and just stop the madness. Now I can say that I go onto Facebook seldom to never only if absolutely necessary. If someone has a group that I need to sign up for or whatever, I will do it. Instagram, I only go on for work purposes and no more than 10 minutes a day ever. I can say that the time and energy that these changes have opened up for me is so incredible. It feels so freeing to be separated from this it’s like a heavy chain with a weight attached to it was just broken for me. If this is an issue for you, start by setting timers for yourself. That’s a really simple thing that you can start with. And if you enjoy social media for pleasure, I think that’s fine. Just maybe limit yourself. I personally don’t enjoy it for pleasure anymore. But there was a time when I definitely did. But I just did way too much of it. If you sit down to enjoy it or even if you’re just doing work, just start your timer know the amount of time you want to spend and when the timer goes off, shut it down. Done. That’s it. Something else I experimented with a few years ago was setting parental limits on my phone. This really helped me just jolt me out of my social media experiences and scrolling and make me realize that I wanted to put it down. 

Megan Porta  15:11

Number four, remove apps and email from your phone entirely. I think each of us probably has our own unique poison. When it comes to tech. Some of us love Facebook for others TikTok or Instagram, Snapchat, I mean, there’s a whole slew of options. If there’s a specific app that you just feel you’re using too much, you know what that app is. So whatever that app is, experiment with removing it, or them from your phone entirely and just see what happens. It doesn’t have to be permanent. This can be a temporary solution, and experiment. Look at it as an experiment. Try it for a week or so and just see what transpires, why not what do you have to lose? During COVID, the height of my email addiction, I would say, I started hiding Gmail on my phone. And I’ve never looked back. So I haven’t set up so that Gmail is technically on my phone, but I can’t see it anywhere. If there is a need for me to go into my email, when I’m on my phone, that sometimes happens. Last summer, when we were at the zoo, I forgot that I had my tickets to get into the zoo in my email. So I had to scramble to get in there and grab the ticket. When that sort of thing happens, I have to go through the app store, I have to type in Gmail, I have to open the app. So it’s a tedious process. By design, I want it to be like that. So it’s not easy for me to get into email on my phone. So you could do something like that if there’s a particular app that you really struggle with, and you know, you spend too much time in, it took a really long time for me to break the habit of even looking for the email app on my phone, you know that instinct or impulse, we have to just like pick up the phone, you tap in, and then your finger automatically goes to the exact part of your screen, where the app is that habit that took me a long time to break. But I did eventually break that I also broke the habit of just reaching for my phone and looking at it whenever I was bored. It’s so easy to do that if we’re waiting somewhere or maybe sitting in a school pickup line or something like that. That’s another habit that I really wanted to break. I think I’ve finally gotten there after many years.

Megan Porta  17:34

So yeah, removing apps and or email from your phone will help you to start breaking those bad habits if you have them like I did, experiment with that and see how it goes. 

Megan Porta  17:45

And number five, create a boring phone. This is basically what I’ve done over the years by removing email and apps that I tend to get obsessed with, I’ve started to create this really unappealing boring phone. It’s so funny, because if I’m ever in a precarious situation, like maybe we’re on a bridge, or I remember one time, we were at an amusement park on the top of a building. And I was trying to take a picture of me and my family. And like my hand was kind of out over the edge just a little bit. And my boys immediately start yelling at me, like Mom Stop, you’re gonna drop your phone. And every time I’m like, honestly, if my phone fell to the ground right now and smashed into a million pieces, I would not care that much. It would be annoying a little bit because I would probably need to get another one for work purposes. And I like having a camera, but it wouldn’t crush me. I might take a few days off of phone usage completely. And that might be actually a relief for me. But it’s just funny to see their reaction versus mine. And then when I say, Oh, well, if it drops to the ground, not a big deal, and they’re like, why? How could you say that? 

Megan Porta  18:59

I heard a suggestion recently from someone I think it was an article I was reading. It’s a capability that my phone doesn’t have. It was about a new feature where you can turn your phone into black and white mode to make it even less appealing. I love this. If you have that capability, definitely experiment with it and see if it makes everything a little bit less appealing enough to set the phone down more often. With as much as we look at food photography. I think this might actually work for us because black and white food is definitely not as appealing as full color food. You could even make your wallpaper on your phone, a solid gray color or black or something that’s just lacking in color and vibrance. I would say evaluate your phone and do just a couple of things to make it less appealing. Whatever that is for you. I have actually been avoiding upgrading my phone for this reason. I don’t want to have a shiny new smartphone because then I could potentially get obsessed with something new, it could pull me in a new feature or a new app or something shiny and new might allure me enough to get pulled back into that tech time. When it comes to phones. I like boring. Boring is good. 

Megan Porta  20:16

Let’s do a real quick recap for this episode, five ways to limit your tech number one set times for email dipping to establish downtime before your week begins. Three set timers for social media, four, remove apps and email from your phone. And five create a boring phone. Even if you don’t feel like you have a tech addiction, I would still challenge you to do one or two of these things or more. Just to see if it affects your life in a positive way. You never know it really might. We lose so much joy in our lives because of tech I believe. And it feels like a lot of people are wandering around not even really knowing this because we’re so consumed with it. This is definitely a near and dear topic to me. I hate it when I’m at a family gathering or a gathering of some kind or even just in a waiting room and I look around and see everybody looking down at their phones. It just feels wrong. It feels unhealthy. I don’t think this is what we should be doing as humans all the time. Limiting tech is a huge priority for me, the world will be a better place if we use tech less. I so strongly believe that. Getting off my tech time soapbox now. Thank you so much for listening food bloggers. You all are amazing. I will see you back here next week for another Mindset episode. 

Outro  21:43

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