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Becoming efficient in a digital age

Smartphones impact our level of productivity more than we know it.

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Someone recently asked me about what it takes to increase efficiency in today’s digital age. This question was born since my client has become too engrossed in social media and other media frivolities. There’s research that suggests that the growing level of social media dependence has made people more anxious, and this has resulted in low productivity.

I had a bird view of this recently when I got an update on my iPhone pertaining to the time I spend on an average day. It was about 10 hours. Now think of it, if you spend 10 hours on an average on your phone, that means you’re eating up a large chunk of a productive day. Although I can personally argue that my usage includes some productive things like reading eBooks and practicing for video production, there are many times where I have observed that I obsessively scroll through social media feeds for long and I end up not doing anything productive.

Smartphones impact our level of productivity more than we know it.

Everything we do on earth as human revolves around habits and habits are defined as activities that have created a neuro-pathway in the brain. These activities are then carried out unconsciously due to repetitiveness. Just like a muscle, the more we do a particular thing, the more it becomes part of us.

Becoming efficient in life revolves around we becoming aware of this habit and understanding their effects and triggers. The steps below are an excerpt of the ways in which we can become efficient in today’s digital age.

Awareness – Understand how you use your device/How it’s using you.

When it comes to any meaningful change in life, awareness is the foundation. You cannot change what you don’t understand, as such, it is necessary that we first understand our habit. How we use our device and how it controls us.

Ask yourself; what do you spend most of your time doing with your device?

What triggers you to reach out for your device?

What joy do you derive from indulging in this activity?

Also, understand what this activity is taking away from you. This part is important because you need to associate pain to the negative effect of wasting your time on your device. When you understanding what your device is costing you, you’ll become aware of why you need to change, and why it’s necessary to change and the consequence of not changing.

Set a goal for yourself

Once you become aware of what your device is costing you in terms of your time and productivity, the key thing to do next is to set a goal for yourself on how to gradually or completely take control.

To completely choose to do away with your device is practically impossible and as such its advisable to device a means in which you can use your device within a specific time.

Time-boxing is an important technique use in the software development process in which specific time is allotted for specific activities. It is an effective tool to keep track of time and resources.

The time-boxing technique can also be applied to our individual lives to help us gain control of how we use our time and also help us enhance productivity in today’s digital age. To use timeboxing, all you have to do is allocate specific time for using your device and never extend it. This way, you’ll build your discipline muscles that would enable you to take control of your life and time. Timeboxing is all about prioritization.

Final Thought

It takes a while to form a habit and as such, it would also take some significant duration to develop more empowering behavior. We must realize this and give ourselves time to become more aware of how to manage our device. When you become aware, it important that you take the change process one step at a time so as not to get overwhelmed.

Always ensure to keep a tracker so that you’re constantly aware of how you spend your time.

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