Uber-productive or Digital Addicts?

I confess:  technology upgrades are making me crazy. They’re supposed to make everything better, faster, easier– you gotta have it— but in just the last month we’ve navigated website facelifts, resume revamps, template redesigns, editing updates, software shutdowns, e-mail vanishings, hardrive malfunctions…and what should have taken hours, morphed into days, then weeks…deadlines flew out the window, stress levels shot up, we got to bed late, up earlier…when do we get to say the emperor has no clothes?  This is nuts!

Faster, Crazier…and Bored

Time Warner just released a study showing that consumers in their 20s– known as “digital natives” — switch media venues about 27 times per nonworking hour (when watching TV, for example). “Digital immigrants” (consumers who grew up with old-school technologies, such as TV, radio and print and adapted to new media) switched venues 17 times per nonworking hour.  A 2011 Nielsen study found that 45% of Americans use iPads while watching TV, and 26% use them both simultaneously several times a day.  Software companies that design phone apps know that if their product takes more than 3 seconds to download, consumers will move on!

Three seconds?  Give me a break!

Every day we move faster, focus less, are bored sooner, and are more addicted to electoronic and digital communication than ever before.  But, are we more clever, more efficient and accomplished?

“Hewlett Packard recently warned that the constant barrage of electronic interruptions causes IQ levels in the workplace to fall 10 points, double the effect of smoking marijuana.  In other words, being always ‘on’ does not turn you into an uber-productive master of the universe; it turns you into Cheech and Chong or Ozzy Osbourne,” says author Carl Honore in his book “Praise of Slowness.

Science Weighs In
Science is already starting to confirm that life at this pace is out of whack.  One of the ways my family and I keep some semblance of balance is by setting Sunday apart. We go to church on Saturdays and keep the Sabbath for things that are relaxing and restorative.  For us, that means hiking, going to the beach or a concert, hanging out with friends, seeing a great movie or reading a fabulous book.  We have to be very intentional about it because there’s always work to do, last minute projects, and the struggle with our own drive to achieve.  Even if your schedule is very different to ours, the principle still applies to deliberately set time apart on a weekly basis just to refresh and renew.  Once we started doing this, we noticed an immediate difference in our outlook, sense of well being and energy for the week ahead.  So, get off the treadmill and take a tip from one busy over-achiever to another:  one day in seven, ya gotta relax and let go!

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work;
but the seventh day is a sabbath.”
 (Genesis 20:8)

 

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