Are we becoming inefficient because of too much technology?
Over the recent past, technology has taken an important place in our lives. I remember the first time I owned a black and white blackberry; I could not let it off my sight or hands. A few years down the line, you cannot look around without spotting a young man or woman, for that matter, fidgeting with a touch sensitive device; could be a smart-phone, iPad, or one of the trending tabs. We cannot miss noting how much technology has changed our lives. We can share information more easily, store huge chunks of information with little or no worry about space, and search for the same information at lightning speeds. However, technology has brought many distractions, so it is more like a double-edged knife.
With technological advancements, the temptation to multitask has increased. A person working on a document can switch to Google search or email by just clicking on an easily accessible icon, and suddenly he or she starts to switch between two tasks. Very few people have ever looked at the bigger picture to understand the influx that comes with these new devices like the iPad, iPhone, androids, or even laptops. A study in conducted recently that involved cutting off access to electronic mail in a place of work for five working days showed amazing results. The results of that study revealed that the employees multitasked less, spent more time on relevant tasks, and had lower levels of stress.
Spending more time on a single task, as opposed to switching from one application or gadget to another, is better. Switching from one task to another leads to cognitive switch, which normally comes at a cost. While we cannot switch off all our smart gadgets off and go back to operating manually, we can make some adjustments that will reduce the technology overload that clouds us. For instance, batching emails, which entails sending several emails at specific times instead of continual emailing, can help a bit. Batching emails can also decrease the overload by reducing the anxiety brought by expecting certain emails. In short, balancing between the e-world and the physical world stands as the best way to increase efficiency and organization.