Could the very devices that are designed to increase our productivity levels actual contribute to productivity decline? Mom was right, too much of a good thing can do you harm. Turns out, human beings weren’t meant to be constantly connected to technology, and in fact, we can easily be overloaded by it. It’s time to take a break.
According to a recent study, the average person spends 12 hours every day looking at a screen. Whether looking at a computer screen, television, or mobile device, humans are spending the majority of their waking hours staring at screens. Could this be a new kind of addiction?
The constant stream of notifications and news can be extremely addictive. In fact, some mobile device users even experience withdrawal symptoms if their batteries are dead, if there’s no cell reception, or if they’re simply without their device. As with any other kind of addiction, too much use of technology can deteriorate things that truly matter, like relationships with other people. If not monitored, data addiction can cut into valuable face-to-face interaction with family and friends, and limit your ability to make new friends.
You may feel that it’s impossible to spend less time with technology. However, moderation isn’t a radical concept. Every night, your body rests in sleep to provide energy for the next day. At work, you step away from your desk every few hours to refocus on your project. When you travel, you take pit stops for food, gas, and to use the facilities. It’s a biological principle that human beings need rest and moderation of tasks.
You may be thinking that after work, your favorite way to unwind is to watch television, check your social media sites, and stay screen-ridden for your evening. While this is fine in moderation, if you spend your whole night in front of a screen, it’s going to make the following computer-licious day even harder to stay concentrated on your work. We all need periodic breaks to disconnect from the web, detach our brains from the television, and even turn off our phones. Here are six simple ways to give it a rest.
- Silence your phone (no vibrating) and keep it in your pocket or somewhere out of view when you’re around other people.
- Do the same during your meal times, even when you’re eating by yourself.
- When you take a break at work, don’t check your email or notifications. They’ll be there when you get back.
- Pick up a new hobby to spend your time on when you go home. Don’t waste three hours on Facebook. Take a hike, read a book, make a chair, make a quilt, play music, bake TMS some cookies, etc.
- Make a point to spend more quality time with people.
- Take a vacation without watching TV, being on your phone, or using a computer. We dare you.
Your productivity time at work will suffer if you don’t take adequate breaks in your technology life. Even if your favorite thing to do involves technology, it could be harmful without moderation. What do you think? What are some ways that you unwind from using technology? Share your thoughts in the comments!