How many screens do you look at on any given workday? Your phone, your computer, your tablet, your e-reader…maybe even multiple monitor screens, your team’s screens, and then some. We put so much trust in the rapid advancement on technology that we think it boosts our productivity.

We also load up our screened devices with games, social media, productivity tools, and communication links. We need them for just about everything, so we look at them just about all the time.
How much time do you waste looking at screens, glancing at screens, and interacting with screens?

A lot.

Distraction caused by screens is on the rise. The hours differ from source to source, but you need to look no further than your own habits to establish a time frame. Estimate how much time you spent looking at screens 10 years ago vs. today. Do it again from 5 years ago. And 1 year ago. The apps themselves might be helping us work better, but we slow ourselves down when we jump at the ding of the phone or the pop-up window from the office communication tool. 

Screens FBTrain yourself to ignore these distractions and then re-evaluate your productivity. It’s going to be easier to get that research done, to populate that spreadsheet, to get through that mountain of correspondence if you are wholly focused on the task at hand.

There are unsubstantiated debates on whether the internet and screens are making us dumb, but you can’t deny how easy it is to stay up until 2 a.m. unintentionally crushing candies because your phone let you know you had full lives. Those notifications are obnoxious, even if they’re for work. Say you’re working on a report due at the end of the day and your team communication tool pops up on the screen with a message from a colleague. They want to know whether the quote you provided to the client they’re writing up a proposal for was in September or October because the form says October but they were pretty sure it was September. It will only take you a moment to search your email to find out whether there’s a data-entry error, so you do. Your colleague gets what they need, you get the task out of the way, and you’re back on track.

Except you’ve lost your train of thought. And you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee now. And you wonder whether your kids got home from school okay. So you stand up from your desk, get coffee, check in with the family, and head back to your desk. Chances are pretty good you’ve lost 10 to 15 minutes. And that ask of your colleague’s could have waited until the end of the day. Now you’ve got to rush your brain to get back on track so you can finish this report on time.

Identifying the loss-of-productivity culprit is easy, the fix is the challenge. Here are some suggestions to help you stay focused at work:

  • Turn off notifications. If you’re working on deadline, put your workplace communicator tool on away. If there’s a work emergency, your colleagues know where to find you. You can turn it all back on again later. You may discover you don’t miss them!
  • Put your cell phone on silent and stick it in a drawer. If you’ve got a landline phone on your desk, give your immediate family the number and provide them with strict examples of when it’s appropriate to call that number. Not know where to find their basketball shoes is not appropriate.
  • Let your people know when you take breaks, so that if they do need to get a hold of you to pick up pizza on the way home from work they know you’ll get that message around 3:30 p.m.
    Be conscious of when you’re on social media. Set a timer so that you don’t lose track of time.
  • Provide yourself with screen-free brain breaks at your desk. Keep a drawing pad handy, a stress ball, some mind puzzles, or a word search book so that when you do need to refocus you’re less likely to get caught up reading a news article or chatting with a friend in another time zone.

Let Jelly Triangle help you be more productive with your digital marketing strategy. Call to book your free consultation at (519) 624 8888 today!

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