At the turn of the 21st century, an increase in technological advancements began to skyrocket all around the world. Innovative ways of connecting catapulted the world’s ability to engage, discover, learn, and close the distance between relationships.
With the plethora of technological options keeping us connected: Bluetooth, wifi, iPods, iPhones, 5G, and more, the world is more interconnected than ever before. Unfortunately, this means we are constantly connected, with our attention being pulled in many directions simultaneously. With all of this change happening, have you ever wondered how this affects us? If you are a technology solution creator, you should consider how your technology impacts your users.
What is it and, why is it important?
Technology and productivity are two concepts that are often linked, in policy discussions. Government and businesses make policies and procedures based on the relationship between technology and productivity for the public, employees, and users. While we can all agree that technology is here to make life easier and help us be more productive, in hindsight, it tends to lead to more distractions than we hoped. (Cue the social media doom scrolling.) Some articles discuss the positive and negative effects of technology on productivity. These articles also give insight into how other factors measure the relationship between technology improvement and productivity, though not necessarily faulting technology improvements as the dominant culprit for low productivity levels. (links below)
We all know the saying, “too much of anything is not good for you”. So how can we limit our use of technology? A better question is, “Should we learn how to use and create technology more effectively so that our productivity levels are affected positively?” The answer is a resounding “Yes.” But how you might ask? We propose moderation. We must know where and when to pump the brakes on the technology we use and create. Not only to keep our sanity but also to maintain those hard and soft skills that are needed for strong and healthy relationships. Whether that be with family, friends, co-workers, users, or clients and partners.
The team weighs in.
We asked ourselves two questions,
- What is the number one tech advancement that distracted us while working?
- What soft or hard skills do we feel are being hindered or replaced by technology?
For Gerald, the increased perceived availability through communication channels was the topped his concern. “Due to the emailing, the group chats, cell phones. work phones, text messages, and zoom calls, I feel like I have to always be ready to talk to someone because people have to talk to me about a job or task. And then when you throw the mix of family and friends in there, who expect you to be available, it all becomes exhausting. I find more need to unplug and do nothing, rather than stay plugged in to produce work that was interrupted, 27 times out of the day.”
Gerald adds: “The tech advancement that distracts me the most would have to be social media, especially when I am working on updating a post or creating content. When I am on a platform, I can get a notification that leads me to a person’s page, and then suddenly I’m watching “funny cats” videos, (because honestly, who can resist them.) I then look up at the clock and see how much time has passed and how much work I still need to get done. The doom scrolling.”
Venkat pointed out that everyone’s level of productivity looks different and varies in capacity. So while one thing may be a big distraction for you, it may aid another person to be more or even less productive than yourself.
As a team, we notice that, due to technological advancement, it seems the brain is being trained to take in more information daily. And not only just more information but at an even faster pace, which results in overstimulation, a decrease in the ability to actively focus, and or burnout. Another thing we agreed on was that while these tech platforms, were created to aid in better communication, they do the opposite for most people. Our ability to focus effectively, communicate, and actively listen are the skills that are being hindered, and yours too; when one relies solely on the advancement of technology. So what is the solution????
How does this help us work with our clients and as a team?
While these challenges are real, and we mean real, we have empowered ourselves with skills, which we believe can be helpful to the entrepreneur as well as the day-to-day worker:
- Use do not disturb and time blocking to limit our time on our gadgets and reduce notifications during certain times.
- Take notes while speaking with each other. Whether it’s interviewing clients, users or responding to managers or teammates, taking notes can help us remember key pieces of information
- Unplug when you can. For example, Malcolm enjoys low-tech Sundays where the phone is used minimally or not at all. Time is set aside for family or friends.
By being diligent and aware, we have found that we are able to service our clients better. Effective communication and active listening show that we appreciate people and thier time and their ideas. Because we truly enjoy working with our clients. So no, technology is not the enemy of your or our productivity. But your utilization to be productive is the key to the problem and the solution. Take the time to reflect on your productivity to create your next great idea. Like Marie Kondo says, if it’s not serving you: Cut. It. Out!
- 6 Ways Technology Increases Productivity
- Is new technology hurting our productivity?
- How Does Technology Affect the Work Environment Today?
- NITM, Inc.