Digital Detox Dynamises Digitised Dudley Do-Goods

Over at Altimeter Group in San Francisco, Principal Analyst Brian Solis is sharing his list of 26 Disruptive Tech Trends for the Rest of the Decade on LinkedIn. It’s everything you will expect from the author of What’s the Future of Business (WTF)

But Tech Trend #3 – Digital Detox Improves Digital Productivity – is worth saving. “Digital is its own drug,” he writes. “People will learn how to hack their workflow because they have to. There’s too much email, too many meetings and not enough leadership to change routines.”

Ah, true. Brian’s an advocate of what he calls “individual productivity hacks,” designed to “improve experiences and relationships professionally and personally”.

Everyone will need to have some sort of digital ‘detox’ to get the dependency on poisonous habits out of their ‘systems’. That’s their mind’s system, not their computer’s. This is the means to maintain focus, and will and/or focus.

Some will simply unplug from the Internet, others will discover and share “life hacks” such as…

  1. Writing down distractions from tasks at hand
  2. Checking email once a week
  3. Scheduling meetings in 20-25 minute increments
  4. Listening to music without lyrics
  5. Spending 10 minutes a day on Headspace
  6. Fasting from media
  7. Not responding to every txt
  8. Turning off all desktop, social and mobile notifications

All reasonable, except number two, which is berserk. In an ideal world, I’d check, reply, delete or archive email twice a day, first thing in the morning, then first thing in the afternoon – the way we used to deal with ‘snail mail’ (remember that?). Maybe do a quick scan of the in-box half an hour before you finish for the day, while checking off today’s To-Do list and preparing tomorrow’s.

Eight, “turning off all desktop, social and mobile notifications,” is a great way to stop colleagues ambushing you with essential must-see messages that turn out to involve pandas and phone cameras.

Time blocking meetings in 20 minute increments is a brilliant idea, as is, I find, blocking activities to specific time periods generally, pomodoro style. And liistening to music without lyrics is something I hadn’t really thought about, but makes perfect sense.

I didn’t get on with Headspace. As a Londoner there’s something about Headspace guru Andy Puddicombe’s Bristol accent I find distracting, which totally defeats the object. But being a lapsed Theravadan Buddhist by birth and and PTSD self-healer, I totally ‘get’ the value of mindfulness and meditation.

Holly Hunter in Broadcast News

And switching off? One of my top ten all-time movie faves is the 1985 media satire Broadcast News (Seen it? No? Do!). One of my favourite running gags in it is pathologically driven news editor Jane Craig’s (Holly Hunter) way of moving to quiet spots, switching off her phone and venting her stress in huge – but short – gulps of sobs, mixing pleasure and pain all at once.

Try that too 🙂

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