Useful Tools, Techniques and Technologies to Beat Digital Distractions
Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of production. It is usually measured as the ratio of output to input or the percentage of work done to time spent on the work. For example, if a factory produces 100 widgets in an hour, and it takes ten workers to do this, then the factory’s productivity is ten widgets per hour per worker.
Distractions are Productivity Killers
One of the challenges that we face when we are trying to be productive is distractions. These can come in many forms, such as phone calls, emails, videos, online games like FIFA 23, and social media notifications. Another challenge that we face when we are trying to be productive is procrastination. Procrastination is when we put off doing something that we know we should do because it is unpleasant or because we would instead do something else.
There are several theories as to why we are easily distracted, but it is still not clear what the exact cause is. One view is that our brains are wired to pay more attention to novelty and change, leading us to be easily distracted. Another theory is that we have a limited amount of attentional resources. When we try to focus on too many things at once, we become overwhelmed and start making mistakes. Whatever the reason, it seems clear that distraction is a major challenge when it comes to productivity.
Using Tech Tools & Resources to Refocus Attention on the Tasks at Hand
There are several ways to use technology to refocus our attention on the tasks at hand. One way is to use a website blocker tool like a BlockSite, packed with a rich set of distraction-busting features. These include browsing insights, scheduled activities where distractions are blocked out, a block list of sites, focus mode, automatic redirects from distracting sites, and more. All of these tools and resources are designed to prevent users from getting overwhelmed.
Many time-tracking apps are available online, each of which is geared towards monitoring your on-screen time with different websites, social media platforms, forums, entertainment distractions and so forth. Understanding how much time is spent on each distraction makes it much easier to stop wasting time. Using productivity-enhancing technology makes it possible to manage your time better, keep track of your tasks, and stay focused on what you need to do.
Some experts believe that digital distractions are bad for our productivity because they can lead to multitasking. When we try to do two or more things at the same time, our brains have to switch back and forth between tasks, which can lead to mistakes and decreased productivity. For example, according to a 2018 study, the average person spends nearly two hours a day on social media, and another four hours browsing the internet. That’s six hours a day that could be spent working or studying.
And it’s not just millennials who are spending hours online; the study found that Baby Boomers are also spending more time than ever on social media and the internet. One theory is that they provide a quick hit of dopamine, the brain chemical that’s associated with pleasure and rewards. When we get a like on our latest post or watch a funny video, our brains release dopamine, which makes us feel good. This can create a feedback loop, where we keep returning for more dopamine hits, even though we know we should be doing something else.
What’s the Cost of Ignoring Productivity Enhancing Resources?
If we ignore productivity-enhancing tools and resources, the cost to individuals and businesses can be high. For individuals, it can mean lost opportunities, wasted time, and lower quality of work. For students, distractions can lead to failed tests and lower scores. For businesses, it can mean reduced efficiency, higher costs, and missed deadlines. In today’s fast-paced world, productivity is essential for both individuals and businesses to compete and succeed.
Some of the statistics about distractions in the workplace include:
- According to a study by the University of California, Irvine, office workers are interrupted or switch tasks an average of every three minutes, and it takes them an average of 23 minutes to get back on track.
- A 2005 study by Basex found that interruptions cost the US economy $588 billion per year in lost productivity.
- A study by Microsoft found that employees spend an average of 5.6 hours per day checking email and that 47% of workers say they would be more productive if they didn’t have to check email so often.
These statistics show that distractions can significantly affect productivity and profitability. However, using the right tools and resources, we can avoid distractions and refocus our energy where it’s needed – on the tasks at hand.