Recently, while compiling goals for my mid-year review I was struck by the need to figure out a way to improve my time management and therefore improve my productivity. How is this going to happen? We live in a world where technology has increased our productivity exponentially; but have we allowed it to take over to our detriment?
I remember laughing at the foolishness of classmates who typed their papers out onto computers with monitors the size of jump boxes only to end up having to write them longhand when the computers would inevitably crash in the lab and all would be lost. Who would even think about writing a document out on paper today and lose that ability to edit? Technology has grown in unimaginable ways in the last 20 years, but if we allow, it will only serve to make us busier, not more efficient.
The first thing many of us do when we wake in the morning is check our inbox, we check our phones for each and every notification ping from email, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Each sound from our phones, each email we read blocks us from the real priorities already in front of us. We feel compelled to respond to an email as soon as it hits our inbox, railroading our things-to-do list and sucking the efficiency from the day already brimming with work. This makes it difficult to cross the goal line at the end of the day feeling like we’ve accomplished much of anything that we had intended.
So I challenge you as I challenge myself to find a counter to the stifling defense of excessive connectedness. Place your phone on airplane mode; turn off inbox notifications and schedule time on your calendar to check your email. Communicate and consider how your new schedule might affect your co-workers and workflow in general. For more tips on how you can plug up some of the holes to your productivity, read the inspiration for this post, Manage Your Time Without Annoying Your Coworkers by Amy Gallo.