In our technology-crazed lives, it seems as though we have virtually every bit of information we could ever need right at our finger tips. It’s a pretty powerful position to be in but at the same time, extremely distracting and can often make us lose sight of what’s currently important. I noticed the other night while drafting an e-mail on my computer, checking scores for my fantasy football team on my iPad and texting my wife on my phone, that I needed an intervention. Technology is great, and I am a complete proponent of using all the resources we have, but there comes a time when I need to focus on one thing at a time. Here are some tips on not letting yourself get bogged down by technological distractions.
Discriminate so you can learn to concentrate – The goal to this one is when faced with a task, ask yourself, “Can it wait?” If the answer is yes, finish the task-at-hand and then get to it. Keeping yourself focused on one task will not only keep you on schedule and productive, but it will give you some time to work on the new task with more dedication.
Don’t let your email control your schedule – It may seem like a luxury that your computer automatically alerts you when someone emails you, but it’s actually very distracting and can make it easy to start a new task without completing the first. I discovered that I can disable the feature so that I can check my email when I am ready.
Protect yourself with a password – Most social networking sites allow you to check and un-check the “remember me” box so that every time you close the browser to one of these sites, it will still keep you logged in. To avoid the temptation of checking your Facebook notifications or Twitter mentions, always keep the box unchecked so that you have to physically type in your password every time you want to get on. You’ll instantly feel annoyed by the monotony of typing your password so many times that the temptation will decrease, and you’ll want to stay away from these sites and the distractions that come with them.
One is enough – If you’re like me, chances are you have or want to own every piece of technology known to man, but just because you own all of the gadgets that this world has to offer, doesn’t mean you need to be glued to all at the same time. If you are at the office, the computer is enough: Put your cell phone, tablet, MP3 player, CD player, Walkman or anything else that could potentially distract you in a drawer, briefcase or if you’re a woman (or a well-styled man) in your purse. Out of sight, out of mind.
Hopefully with these tips, you’ll find it easier to concentrate at work and not let technology run your schedule and more importantly, your life. Sometimes, it’s best to put all of the devices away and engage in actual human interaction. Try it, it’s not so bad.