Our gadgets make life easier. Now you can find the address of that new Thai restaurant with your smartphone. You can instantly tell all your friends about your new promotion through Twitter and Facebook. If you don’t have enough time to watch the news, you can read it en route to work on your tablet. But in some cases our gadgets distract us from the “real” world. And in some cases they decrease our productivity. When we ought to be working or thinking, we’re checking our e-mails and sending texts. The New York Times recently asked the question: Would many of us gain from short technology breaks?
The Times story concentrated on some highly unlikely supporters of the take-a-tech-break theory: techies themselves. The Times, in fact, presented the case of an author and former Twitter employee. This techie was writing a book. But the constant chirping of his iPhone kept him from concentrating. When this techie ditched the phone, he found that the words flowed. His advice? Ditching the tech can significantly boost productivity.
This techie is far from alone. The author of the Times column shines a spotlight on himself. Today, when he and his friends get together for dinner, they immediately toss their smartphones in the middle of the table. The first person who reaches for a phone has to pay the price: That person covers the tab for dinner.
Is it your turn to follow these examples? Should you take a technology break? Have a look at your days: Do you spend hours playing with Words with Friends or Angry Birds? Can you pass an hour without logging into Facebook? Do you text more than you talk? If so, you, too, might gain from a technology break. And you might be surprised at how productive you can be.