By Inna Tsukanova
Do you want to be fitter, happier and more productive? Then it’s time to put the mobile phone down, turn off the instant messenger and give your bombarded brain a rest. Technology can certainly make life easier, we’re not going to argue with that, but does it make it better? Not necessarily. In fact, if you want to achieve more, a digital detox could be the change you need to make.
Over the years, there has been plenty of research into the use of digital devices and most of it has found that to do more, we really need to use technology a bit less. But how can a digital detox increase productivity? Let’s take a look…
- Reduce wasted time
Did you know that the average person checks their phone a staggering 200 times a day? That’s more than once every 6 and a half minutes. If on just a quarter of those smartphone checks there’s actually something to see, like a social media notification, a new email to read or a WhatsApp message, you can probably start to imagine just how much time is wasted every single day.
To be more productive, turn your phone off or leave it at home and see how much you can get done. With 26 percent of business owners banning personal mobiles at work, this might be a decision that’s soon taken out of your hands.
- Improve your mood
As a society, we have become largely dependent on technology and this is having a detrimental effect on our physical and mental health. Technology is being blamed for a number of physical health issues such as eye strain, tendonitis and headaches, but it’s also having a less perceptible and potentially more damaging impact.
Anxiety, sleep deprivation and a feeling of isolation are all negative side effects associated with overusing technology. Our emotional wellbeing has a significant impact on our ability to perform at our best, which is further damaging levels of productivity.
- Take control of stress
A new report on the mental health of corporate employees has found that stress in Irish workplaces is on the rise. More than one-in-five respondents said they were extremely or very stressed in their current role, with almost one-in-three admitting to being more stressed than they were two years ago.
Although technology and digital devices are certainly not the only cause of stress in the workplace, it’s thought that today’s always-on-connectivity is making it harder for employees to disconnect from their jobs. By answering work emails at home and always being contactable, technology is blurring the lines between work and home life. The result is that many employees are simply unable to switch off and relax.
- Focus on the job at hand
The attention span of the modern smartphone user is often compared, fairly or not, to the famously forgetful goldfish. As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s actually true. In fact, according to scientists, the age of the smartphone means that goldfish can now hold a thought for longer than humans, although what they’re thinking about – nobody knows.
The results of the research show that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2016. If that wasn’t a ringing endorsement for a digital detox we’re not sure what is.
This embarrassingly short attention span is making it increasingly difficult to focus on the job at hand. Instead of working in concentrated bursts, we’re constantly being distracted. Removing digital temptations completely will ensure that the next time you look at your to-do list, you’ll see tasks completed rather than wasted time.
Ready to see what you can achieve when you’re not being constantly nagged by a digital device? Switching off even for just a few hours can make a marked difference to your productivity. Take a digital detox and give your brain a chance!