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How To Be More Productive By Eliminating Technology

Written by: Adeline Yuboco, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Because of the demands of work and the need to deliver results fast, people are finding new ways to increase their productivity levels. People can get more done quickly and efficiently by using various productivity apps.

Coworkers celebrating some good news in a factory

Or do they?


Task management apps, time trackers, and team communication tools have become essential to the daily workflow. They are so entrenched in the team dynamics that it's unthinkable not to use them in everyday work.


Here are a few examples you might have heard about:

  • Todoist is a task manager and "to-do list" app designed to organize tasks and projects. It doubles as a calendar and can be integrated with other tools, making project management a breeze.

  • Employee time tracking app Time Doctor is an effective way to track employees' time on work-related tasks. This app can help managers and employees better understand how they are spending their time and make adjustments if necessary. It identifies areas where employees are overworking or underworking.

  • Trello is a project management tool that helps teams organize and manage projects. It's unique because it allows users to create boards to track their projects, add cards representing tasks or ideas, and assign people to work on the cards.

The downside is that people are now becoming increasingly dependent on these tools, and they may even negatively influence behavior. You see, technology is a double-edged sword. While there are real productivity gains from using them, they also come with costly effects such as distractions, unnecessary pressure, and creating a work culture where setting boundaries is difficult.


This article discusses the dark side of technology in the workplace and how it can negatively impact productivity levels.


How Technology Negatively Affects Productivity Levels


1. Disconnection is Next to Impossible


With technology always available, it can be difficult to disconnect from the apps you use at work, making yourself accessible to your boss and colleagues even after office hours. While you always have the choice to set boundaries, part of you feels you're missing out on important conversations if you disconnect.


Technology can also be addictive, making it hard to resist checking your smartphones and other mobile devices. Because they're available 24/7, it's much easier to stay plugged in than to disconnect.


For example, if you find yourself checking social media or e-mailing multiple times a day instead of taking a break or sleeping, you can end up with technology fatigue. This can have negative consequences, like feeling overwhelmed, pressured, anxious, and stressed, which can affect your productivity.


When you're regularly plugged in, you may not see the need to take time for yourself because you're always available through technology. This can make it difficult to disengage and recharge, creating a constant state of "busyness," which can eventually lead to toxic productivity.


2. Prone to Distractions


It's essential to be aware of the potential distractions that technology can create. When you're constantly bombarded by notifications from social media, e-mail, messaging apps, and productivity tools you use, that's a distraction!


Too many notifications can have a negative effect not just on your productivity but on your mental health as well. You may feel stressed because you are constantly being pulled in different directions, trying to make sense of the influx of information, many of which are not even work-related.


There is no denying that technology distractions can cause a significant drain on your productivity levels. Studies have shown that when workers are distracted, they are less able to complete tasks effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, distraction can lead to errors in task performance that can cost businesses time and money.


3. "Rigid" Structures to Observe


Not all productivity tools and apps are easy to learn, and some require a specific structure and procedure to be effective. This can be a challenge for people who are used to doing things the traditional way.

There is always a learning curve involved with using productivity tools, as they require different input methods than traditional office software. Not everyone is tech-savvy, and this can be difficult for some people to get used to. It takes a bit of time to learn all the different features and functions of the app.

When there is a high learning curve, it can be difficult for employees to understand and use the new system. This can cause delays because they cannot complete their tasks as quickly as they would if the system were more user-friendly. In some cases, this can lead to decreased efficiency and productivity.


4. Lack of Accountability


Technology is always moving forward. This is why productivity apps are regularly updated to perform better. However, not all companies can keep up with technology's constant evolution. This is because funding is not always available to upgrade resources and conduct new training.


Outdated technology can inhibit productivity in the workplace. It makes it easy for employees to blame technology for their shortcomings or mistakes. When outdated tools and apps fail, it creates a workplace culture where there is a lack of accountability among employees. They know that they can always use the flaws of obsolete technology as an excuse to shirk their responsibilities. It's always the technical glitch and never their incompetence.


5. Feelings of Productivity Shame


Productivity shame is a feeling of guilt, self-blame, and inferiority that people often experience when they cannot produce the same level of work as others. It can result from an individual's belief that their productivity is not up to par with others in their field or simply due to the stress and pressure of deadlines.


Many people equate productivity with quantity, so when they don't fill up their to-do list app with tasks, they feel they are not accomplishing enough in a day. This builds up the feeling of productivity shame.


When left unchecked, it can lead to burnout and stress because you're measuring your productivity in how many tasks you've completed in a day, even if they are just "shallow" work. What you must understand is that there are other ways to be productive, even without being reliant on technology.


Key Takeaways


Technology is essential to our lives, and it's hard to imagine living without it. From computers to smartphones to apps, there are ways in which technology can help improve productivity and increase efficiency. However, over-reliance on tools and apps comes with its own set of problems that can diminish productivity.


If you are experiencing the toxic effects of using technology, it's time to disconnect and go analog:

  • Instead of a digital planner, use pen and paper or a desk calendar to write down your tasks. Writing by hand helps clear your thoughts and mindfully connect with the task. It gives us a sense of control and autonomy, which can lead to improved productivity. It can also be therapeutic, helping to relieve anxiety and stress.

  • Instead of using a to-do list app, create a mind map on paper. Mind mapping is a technique that allows you to visualize complex information. They can be used for brainstorming, setting goals, creating action plans, managing daily tasks, and more.

  • Instead of scheduling your tasks on your digital calendar, just create time blocks on your whiteboard (or your mind if you have a good memory). Time blocking allows you to focus on a specific task for a predetermined time. By setting boundaries and limits on how much time you spend on specific tasks, you can maximize your productivity.

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Adeline Yuboco, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Adeline Yuboco is a HubSpot-certified content marketing consultant, writer, and mentor. After a car accident forced her out of the corporate world close to two decades ago, Adeline made the bold decision to go dive head-first into the world of freelancing. Since then, Adeline's written over 1 million words professionally (and counting). She's also created and managed content marketing campaigns for B2B SaaS and service-based businesses to help them build a strong online presence, grow their audience and get leads. She also mentors and provides consulting services to aspiring business owners and freelancers navigating through the ups and downs of starting and growing their own businesses.

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