Are you in charge of your technology, or is your technology in charge of you? We call them “smart phones”, and I wonder if the phone is getting smarter than we are.
I recently read, Irresistible: The rise of existing technology, which is a fascinating reminder that technology is as addictive and consuming as cocaine. What a powerful statement! How often is your phone the last thing you look at before you go to sleep at night?
You might be surprised to learn that every human on the planet has 5 devices. iPad, iPhone, tablet, e-reader, laptop, desktop, and now Alexa. How do you regulate your interface time? What boundaries do you place on your personal space? The electromagnetic waves coming off your phone while you are sleeping prevents you from dropping into deep REM sleep, the necessary component of restoration for your body and mind. Yet most Americans keep that phone only inches from our brains so we can check in as soon as we awake.
The average response time to an email is about one minute. One minute. We also know the human brain needs about 25 minutes to deeply engage in a project. This means that our constant disruption of email prevents us from maximizing our productivity, only adding stress to our lives!
This combines to provide us an opportunity to consider our client boundaries. We create the expectation of availability with our responsiveness, so what do you want to create? When surveyed, most people expect a service response within 24 hours. What if you turned off your email for a couple hours a day and instead focused on the projects on your desk? I challenge you to do so, and see how it changes your stress level. I also challenge you to charge your phone across the room, in airplane mode, so you won’t be disturbed with buzzing or ringing through the night.
Einstein said, “you can’t change a problem at the level of the problem.” So get above it. Face it. Reduce your stress with good boundaries around your technology. Start today, we have no time to waste.