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Is Technology Driving You Crazy?

Is Technology Driving You Crazy?

August 05, 2008

Don’t you love it when your thinking or beliefs are supported by something you read by several experts? I do! And that is just what happened to me. During my vacation in California with my husband, we were reading the morning newspapers; I was reading my favorite, USA Today. Dave was reading the Los Angeles Times and he started blurting out the title of an article called IN BOX.

As soon as he read the first sentence, I was thrilled. I am not old-fashioned when it comes to my thoughts on e-mail consuming our lives and technology stressing us to the max.The article took more than ½ of a full page of the newspaper. This topic deserves attention. I saved the entire article which I will use in the classes I teach on “Human Moments” and e-mail etiquette. The essence of the article is that e-mail truly is driving us all crazy. According to a growing number of academics, “technologists” and psychologists, our dependence on e-mail is creating anxiety in the workplace, adversely affecting the ability to focus, diminishing productivity and threatening family bonds says the LA Times. I would really like to encourage you to take a serious look at how e-mail and technology is impacting your life.

Simply put: we need to manage technology, not let technology manage us.

This week, try the following:

1. Limit the number of times you open e-mails in one day. Remember the good old days, when mail was delivered to your desk twice a day. It’s the same concept.

2. Turn off the alert noise. It is way too tempting to open an e-mail when you see that little box in the lower right-hand corner pop up.

3. Be considerate of other people’s time by not overloading them with e-mails. Also, you don’t have to go back and forth with “thank you” and “thank you” and “thank you.”

4. Free yourself of all this insanity and create zones of “no-technology time.” The work world will not fall apart. I’d even be willing to wager that you will be more productive than not.

5. Get out of your seat and talk to someone face-to-face instead of e-mailing them. It’s great to have “Human Moments.”

6. Encourage others in your department to limit e-mail use.

7. What are your work hours? Do you work 24/7? Or 40 hours a week? Think about how accessible you are to e-mails and a Blackberry. Do you need to set limits?

8. Vow to talk to five people on the telephone this week instead of sending them an e-mail. That is one per day.

If you want to read this article in its entirety, it was in the July 31 publication of the Los Angeles Times.

Wishing you a stress-less week!

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