Friday, June 28, 2013

Turning off the tech: Good for your productivity?

Our gadgets make life easier. Now you can get the address of that new Indian restaurant with your cell phone. You can instantly tell all your friends of your new promotion through Twitter and Facebook. If you don’t have time to watch the news, you can read it on the way to work on your tablet. But sometimes our gadgets distract us from the “real” world. And sometimes they decrease our productivity. When we really should be working or thinking, we’re checking our e-mails and sending texts. The New York Times recently asked the big question: Would everyone gain from brief technology breaks?

Even the techies shut down

The Times story concentrated on some highly unlikely supporters of the take-a-tech-break theory: techies themselves. The Times, in fact, highlighted the case of an author and former Twitter employee. This techie was writing a book. But the constant chirping of his iPhone kept him from concentrating. When this techie ditched the phone, he found that the words flowed. His advice? Ditching the tech can significantly boost productivity.

Growing support

This writer is not alone. The author of the Times story, in fact, considers himself a techie. But he and his fellow techie fans are taking their own breaks from their electronic gadgets. As the author writes, when he and his friends gather for dinners, they place their smartphones in the center of the table. Whoever touches a phone first has got to cover dinner.

Your time?

Is it your turn to follow these examples? Do you need to go on a technology break? Have a look at your days: Do you spend hours fiddling with Words with Friends or Angry Birds? Can you pass an hour or so without logging into Facebook? Do you text more than you talk? If so, you, too, might benefit from a technology break. And you might be amazed at how productive you will be.

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