Technology and Productivity: Good and Bad?

Tanmay writes about the impact of technology on productivity:

Across the web, I have recently read articles/posts that underline an important thing – technology is taking a toll on our productivity and is keeping us from doing work that really matters – that is, if we allow.

I have seen both sides of the coin. I often get into a state when my work seemed to be just flowing and I never realized that I was doing the “work”. Things got done, time just flew, priorities accomplished, progress happened and a sense of satisfaction prevailed.

On the other side, I have been a victim of technology as well. Times when I got so distracted by my urge to “check” things – mails, social media comments, short message on my cell etc. – that it kept me from accomplishing what I had planned. I dread such days.

My Comments
1. Being connected continually numbs us to what it’s like to be disconnected and therefore not able to “keep up.” For me, it either takes a power cut at the office – which happens far too often each year – or traveling internationally. When doing the latter, I choose not to be connected continually, and yet I still survive. It’s a matter, therefore, of being deliberate about when I / we choose connection over disconnection.

2. Actually, that paints two technical opposites. Perhaps a better way of saying that would be “connected / distractable” versus “disconnected / focusable.” The “-able” suffix is there to remind us that it’s a choice either way – it is possible to be “connected / focused” and “disconnected / distracted.”

3. I remember reading about a University professor who canceled his email account. Colleagues told him that this meant he would not be able to “keep up.” His reply was something to the effect: “I don’t want to keep up … I want to do deep work.”

4. A “greater yes” is required to say “no” to distraction and continual connection. If you have a greater yes burning inside you – a project to complete, a task to work on, a vision to realize – then it’s much easier to say no to seduction of being online all the time.

5. What’s your “greater yes”?

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