Posts Tagged ‘Work Tomorrow’
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with our Smartphone.
We love the fact that it makes us more efficient. We hate the extent to which it has control over us.
But there’s a deeper, more fundamental problem at play here. There are growing indications that for some people, Smartphone’s lead not only to distraction but to burnout and reduced motivation. Ultimately, smartphones can actually reduce productivity rather than increase it.
And it gets worse: A growing number of users’ relationship with their smartphone fits the classic definition of addiction, causing the same outcomes as addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling or food; obsessive preoccupation, continued use despite negative consequences and denial. Extreme Smartphone use meets another criterion for addiction; immediate gratification and short-term rewards, coupled with delayed negative effects and long-term costs.
Happily, there is a solution. Recent research has unveiled a simple strategy that allows users to enjoy the benefits of Smartphone’s while significantly reducing the negative effects.
Addressing always-on fatigue:
Harvard Business School faculty member Leslie Perrow has studied this issue at length. And in her recent book “Sleeping with Your Smartphone: How to Break the 24–7 Habit and Change the Way You Work,” she describes a successful experiment to address the mental fatigue that accompanies an always-on psyche.
The research was conducted with high-powered consultants at strategy firm Boston Consulting Group, implementing something called PTO; Predictable Time Off. The essence of PTO is to agree to afternoons or evenings completely cut off from work and wireless devices; predetermined blackout periods when emails are neither sent nor read and uninterrupted time periods that allow for greater focus.
Four years later, what started off with one team had spread to 900 teams in 30 countries. The reason, quite simply, is because what happened to key attitudes among participants in the PTO experiment:
As you think about your own situation and that of your team, consider whether predictable time off could function for you in the same way that it did for Boston Consulting Group, both at work and at home. By implementing this one simple strategy, you could become happier and more effective in both your business and your personal life.
And there’s another benefit also, you could avoid being viewed as a “hapless zombie.” A phrase used in a very funny April article in the Wall Street Journal on the impact of the no-smartphone rule at the US Masters golf tournament. Here’s how the article began:
Navigating a no-phone zone:
“Everybody knows that smart phones have inhaled civilization; sure, there’s a certain, breathtaking level of convenience, and Boggle for the iPhone deserves a Nobel Prize, but it’s time to admit that we’re all incurably addicted, that we look like hapless zombies pecking at them all day, and would probably be at least 80% happier if we drove to the nearest bridge and chucked it in the river. We’re losing our ability to socialize and even speak—phones ruin dinners, meetings, weddings and even honeymoons, to say nothing of the deadly crazies who break them out in the driver’s seat.”
“Phones have also sucked energy out of sporting events; you can’t go to a game without seeing hundreds of fans with their faces buried in tiny screens, sending texts and Tweets and taking horrible photos to prove on Facebook they’re actually there.”
Here’s a link to the full Wall Street Journal article:
And click here for an article describing the PTO research:
Tags: Afternoons, Alcohol Drugs, Blackout Periods, Boston Consulting Group, Burnout, Business School Faculty, Faculty Member, Fundamental Problem, Harvard Business School, Immediate Gratification, Mental Fatigue, Negative Consequences, Obsessive Preoccupation, Perrow, Smartphone, Strategy Firm, Term Rewards, Time Periods, Uninterrupted Time, Work Tomorrow
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