Despite facing an overload of information from multiple sources, most people insist on trying to manage everything alone via multitasking. Paying attention requires focus, and to focus on your priorities without distraction, you must put some other things aside.
Multitasking is stressful, unhealthy and unproductive since multitasking is not effective or efficient way to use our brainpower, it simply about switching focus fast between multiple task. The brain can’t process so much data, and you’ll tend to forget things more easily.
A study by Stanford University economist John Pencavel captured the limitations of focusing too intensely. He found that individual productivity drops once employees reached 50 hours a week. Someone working 55 hours a week is no more efficient than someone working 70 hours.
Freelancers are scraping away the parts of company life that sucked the life out of them which are toxic culture, compulsory collaboration, unnecessary busywork, rigid business hours.
Cellphones pose the ultimate technological dichotomy. Cellphone use becomes a habit and an easy way to relieve boredom or uneasiness.
Statistically, Americans check their phones 150 times, and collectively share more than 500 million photos, every single day, according to the annual “Internet Trends” report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
In her book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other, MIT professor Sherry Turkle reports that adults’ cellphone manners deteriorate when other people are around. Breaking the cellphone habit requires putting your device aside and interacting with the world.
In the San Francisco Bay area, “Device-Free Drinks” events require participants to turn over their devices and participate in “face painting, sing-a-longs, board games, pie-eating contests, and, of course, drinking.” Emmy-nominated filmmaker Tiffany Shlain promotes “Technology Shabbats,” in which her family unplugs for roughly 24 hours beginning on Friday evening. Peer pressure usually makes it easier for individuals to go along with these technological blackouts.
However, the truth is boredom is not the enemy. In fact, boredom can give you the motivation to tap into your creativity or allow you to be alone with your thoughts and imagination. But, cutting the smartphone umbilical cord can be scary.
“The Bored and Brilliant Project: The Lost Art of Spacing Out,” a WNYC radio show, challenged participants to remove apps from their devices. One person said that deleting Instagram “felt like a friend was moving away forever.” Another said she experienced withdrawal symptoms “eye twitching” after deleting Twitter.
You can’t deny the power of technology. Mobile devices enhance communication and create new options. Conversely, they compromise your ability to interact with other people and to find joy in life’s basic pleasures. Two friends in Detroit invented the Freewrite while trying to simplify the writing process. The machine is a “minimalist digital typewriter” without Spell Check, drop-downs or Internet access.
Users can write without “friction.” The Freewrite is an example of how people are beginning to understand the value of making things less complicated. Paying attention to one another does not have to be a lost art.
The change can start with you and me.
Or at least we can try.
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