This isn’t just about switching things off at the plug instead of leaving them on standby. We’re talking about stepping away from your devices, to take time to reflect or think without distraction.
It doesn’t have to involve getting rid of your phone or tablet altogether – just taking the occasional break can make a difference. Will much have changed on Facebook in the three minutes it takes the kettle to boil? Probably not. So, one change that we’re trying to start at Coacto is encouraging ourselves to not carry our phones with us everywhere.
In her TEDx Talk, ‘Could you live without a smartphone?’, Dr Anastasia Dedyukhina gives a run down of the extent to which we are addicted to our phones. She begins with the shocking fact that we check our devices 221 times a day on average. That’s about every 4.3 minutes of the time we don’t sleep.
Our devices give us that dopamine release of interesting and exciting information, making us want to go back for more. However, it is important to find that balance between utilising and enjoying technology, and becoming addicted. So, here are some of Dr Dedyukhina’s tips for finding that balance:
We don’t need to be accessible 24/7. Try making a conscious decision to not have work notifications once you return home. Also, try blocking apps for certain times of the day. By not multitasking you can focus better – and enjoy some distraction after your work is done!
Decide where you want to work, and where you want quiet. It’s in the quiet that our brain has time to process information. We cannot make good decisions or be creative if we are always overwhelmed, so take a step away from your device and allow your brain to rest.
Manage people’s expectations as to how they can contact you – Dr Dedyukhina recommends sending less emails so you’ll receive less emails! Have a structured work time and dedicated time off in the week leads to better productivity, so don’t feel guilty about taking a break.
This is the hardest one; you cannot prevent yourself from going online. So instead, manage it. We are looking for that next release of dopamine, but our endless scrolling distracts us from the problems we should be dealing with. Find time in your day to think through your problems instead of continuing to put them off!
What does this mean for me?
Taking time to reassess allows for more reflection, more thinking and consequently more innovation. It also allows you to rest. We worked with a client recently that was not using Salesforce.com activities. They had challenges with deadlines being missed, tasks not being done at all and no overall view of the comms history with their suppliers and customers. Staff managed their to-do lists on scraps of paper, in apps or notebooks, and on whiteboards. Some had their to do lists in their heads. Our advice is to let a system do that for you – and if you are using Salesforce using activities for to do lists, meetings etc. is really a no brainer (pardon the pun).
This may be counter intuitive to the subject of this blog. However, if you don’t have a trustworthy system that enables to track what has been done, and what needs to be done, you are carrying a lot of information in your head. This results in changes of priorities on the fly, which you cannot track. This can make you feel tired, overwhelmed and out of control, particularly if you are keeping your to list in your head. We won’t even start on changing priorities! Improvements in the user interface for activities in Salesforce Lightning Experience makes these even easier to use than before. We love the new timeline view:
If you find yourself thinking of changes you would like to make within your business, get in touch and see if we can help.
You can also learn more from Dr Dedyukhina through her book ‘Homo Distractus’ which you can purchase here.
Check out our other blog posts!