Productivity and Tech: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Productivity and Tech: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

We all want to be as productive as possible, and we’ve never met anyone who was happy filling their time with busy work (once they realized what they were doing at least). Technology has transformed our lives and continues to do so, and our default is to believe we are much more productive than we used to be. Yet by economics standards, productivity has been falling for years. What we’ll explore today is how technology influences productivity and we’ll go into the good, the bad, and the ugly of productivity and technology.

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Productivity shows up with technology in the ways we communicate, the tools we use, the ability to outsource and delegate and so many more ways. For today’s article we’re going to take a look at what we consider the best benefits of productivity from technology, where it doesn’t make a difference even when we think it does and how it can actually hurt us!

1. The Good

Technology has enabled us to communicate and work with other people in ways we could never have imagined in the past. Today we can communicate synchronously and asynchronously, we instantly video chat with people around the world and has truly allowed us to globalize in a way we would never have dreamed of just a few years ago.

We also have access to a tremendous amount of information, nearly instantaneously. Access to this amount of information can make us all capable of doing amazing things and eliminate barriers that would have been in place for so many of us.

2. The Bad

Technology certainly makes us feel more productive. But how much of what we do is busy work instead of productive. If you’re in sales this hits home when you think about all the reporting and dual reporting, you sometimes feel you must do! Constant notifications, distractions and the erosion of personal boundaries has put us in a position where we are often working and busy but not always productive!

3. The Ugly

Technology makes us feel like we can multitask. Our brains are simply not wired to multitask. We are very capable of automating tasks and for some of us, we’re very good at this. It allows us to quickly shift between different tasks. But the part of our brain that consumes the most resources, the part of the brain required to solve complex and difficult problems, that part of the brain struggles to focus on one task at a time let alone multiple. In fact, that part of the brain hates working so much it often helps us reduce complexity and take short cuts instead of working through problems. Multitasking only exacerbates this. We call these heuristics and while they can be helpful, they absolutely confirm our inability to effectively multitask.

We are also at risk of technology burnout and overload. With access to social media, videos, entertainment and a never-ending supply of content it’s easy to get lost in the internet and lose hours a day, week and month using technology to no productive effect. Technology addiction is real and dangerous, and we are more at risk of this today than we have ever been in the past.

What do you think of technology and productivity?

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