Turning off the tech: Good for your productivity?

Turning off the tech: Good for your productivity?

When is it time to turn off the smartphone, place the tablet in your desk drawer and shut the lid on the laptop? A recent column in the New York Times indicates that we could all use the occasional tech break. The reason? Far too much tech – text messages, Tweets, Facebook postings, Angry Birds – may very well be distracting us so much that we’re struggling to concentrate. And when we can’t concentrate, we can’t be as productive as we need to be.

Surprising agreement

The Times’ story offers an interesting premise: Even the most high-tech in our midst find ditching their gadgets from time to time a constructive experience. The Times story profiles a former media manager at Twitter who, while writing his first book, found out that his iPhone and other gadgets were distracting him. To resolve this problem, he simply ditched them as he wrote his book. He found out that his mind cleared, and his productivity increased. The author discovered jotting notes on paper inspired him to think of his most creative ideas.

Growing support

This techie is far from alone. The author of the Times column shines a spotlight on himself. Today, when he and his buddies get together for dinner, they immediately toss their smartphones in the middle of the table. The first one that reaches for a phone is required to pay the price: That person picks up the bill for dinner.

What about you?

Is it time to have a break from your own technology? Ask yourself this: How often do you check Facebook each day? How much time do you spend reading and commenting on blogs? Can you get through a face-to-face conversation without glancing down at that incoming text message? Tech may very well be overtaking your life. Take a rest and you might find plenty of real-world distractions that are equally as interesting.