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Technologically challenged: How progress is hindering productivity

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

While we may live in a highly technical world full of gadgets and gizmos, whose objective is to allow us to accomplish more tasks, more easily and efficiently, we are, according to research getting less and less done.

Studies show that advanced technology has actually put us at a “technological” disadvantage. With the advent of beepers, car phones, cell phones, office phones, emails, instant messaging, etc. we are can be readily and easily contacted just about anytime and anyplace, and in the middle of doing most anything.

The greatest distractions often occur at the workplace, with employees receiving several phone calls, emails and instant messages, frequently not work related that cause them to be distracted, lose their concentration, train of thought, and hamper their effective and timely completion of a task or project.

While most employers and employees have never had a problem with some “extra-curricular” distractions, the concern, as pointed out by research professionals, stems from the fact that the brain requires at least eight uninterrupted minutes to get into a creative mode, more time than most employees and work personele get during the day. And the “problem” extends to our cars (while driving) and to our home and personal life. In fact, we are bombarded focus fracas 24-7.

Some professionals say that the once welcome online advantage has become so distracting to them, between the pop ups, email announcements, etc. that they actually welcome remaining “disconnected”.

It’s no wonder most of our lives are in “disarray” and companies now have to offer mental health days. With the constant connections, say experts, we have lost , not only our ability to concentrate on the job, but also our ability to hone in on, and concentrate on what’s really important: ourselves, our families, and the ability to (successfully) unwind.

Research shows, that those who are sensitive to the distractions and are getting “frustrated” by them, are reverting to more low-tech tactics to disconnect and refocus. In fact, the techno critique has been so great that even top software companies are taking notice of this new “trend” and trying to address it.

Still, connectivity remains an addiction for most. According to a recent study more than half the adult population (in Britain) felt the compulsion to check their emails several times a day, including during meeting, after work, and even while on holiday. Half of all employees also said, they felt “obliged” to respond to emails within an hour of receiving them, and one in five professionals confessed to gladly interrupt their business or social obligation to address and respond to emails or phone messages.

According to experts, the answer is balance, but with people frowning on those who opt for “disconnection”, we still have a long way to go.

Long Island Technology Articles > Technologically challenged: How progress is hindering productivity

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