Managing digital technology

Our smartphones, while amazing in many ways, facilitate “always on” culture, and the expectation that people have to respond to emails, texts, voice messages and even phone calls immediately.

The relentless competition for my attention can be psychologically exhausting and detrimental for creativity and focus, as this article appropriately titled "A day In the life of Scott, hopelessly distracted office worker" by James Hewitt for the World Economic Forum, has pointed out.

The solution, which I’ve already begun implementing, is quarantining social media time on our phones and laptops.  It is working wonders on my focus, my creativity, my productivity, and my mood.

“Simply quarantining e-mail (whatsapp, FaceTime, phone calls) within shorter periods, rather than interweaving it throughout the day, is associated with a number of benefits.

A recent study found that checking e-mail 3 times per day, as opposed to as often as we can, is associated with less stress and improved physical and psychological wellbeing.

Our technology can be powerful and effective, but it is a double-edged sword.

We need to learn to wield it carefully, with great skill, as part of a mindful consideration of our working patterns, which many of us have not been doing.

The same knowledge workers who need to nurture their capacity to focus, solve complex problems and be creative, are the most at risk of the fractured attention that destroys the pathway to value generation and fulfillment.”