This week I am able to reflect on the YouTube video Single-tasking Is the New Multitasking and answer the question: Is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions? I feel like Alec has provided this blog post directly to me.
The video provides some insight into how my brain often works when I am working on coursework, and working on projects at work. Often I will have a Google Chrome window open with 15 tabs, and when that window is “too full” I will often just open up another “fresh” Google Chrome window and fill that one with 15 tabs. I even have this beautiful creation I made on my Cricut last year to remind me of how much I multitask. I think it is time to take up “Tabless Thursdays”.
So… “Is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions?”
Can it be both?
I do believe that the internet can be used productively, but it takes time. And you need to learn how to manage this. As many of my classmates did, I checked out classmate Nancy Smith’s vlog on productivity tips (God knows I need it).
- Tip 1: Multi-tasking is inefficient, we are better to be solo-tasking.
- Tip 2: Eliminate Notifications
- Tip 3: Time and Space – Pomodoro Technique: Set a timer for 25-minute and work on that one task and that is it. After the time is up, you need to refresh. Get up, get moving, do another 25 minutes, and you plow through it.
- Tip 4: Weapon Savvy – Strip back from cool tools and analyze the tool for the job.
- Tip 5: Protect your mental health – really important to take time and space for yourself.
As I reflect on these tips from Nancy, what comes to mind is the shift from in-person teaching to emergency remote-teaching in March. We had so many different projects on the go. I believe that it is vital that we protect mental health as it is so important to take time and space for ourselves. I knew I was overwhelmed when my fiance told me I was talking about Seesaw in my sleep. Furthermore, within the past couple of years, I have started implementing timers on the apps that I use often in my day, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, all have 1-hour timers on them. As Nancy pointed out, it is so easy to be sucked into a rabbit hole within these social media sites and spend “2 hours on TikTok before bed”.
I do believe that technology has played a role and has decreased the attention spans of people in society. In the article, The simple truth about technology and human attention spans…, it discusses how technology is an enabler, it can make us more productive, or less productive depending on how we use it. We can adopt tools to “cut the noise” such as
- Mercury Reader – Simplify articles for fewer distractions
- Freedom – Block distracting websites
- Calm – A meditation app
- Pocket – Save articles for later
I also believe that we can train ourselves to be more efficient by utilizing the tips that Nancy has provided. The distractions are there on the internet, but we can avoid them. It is possible.
After reflecting: Here are some goals that I would like to try to implement personally and professionally.
- Answering emails twice a day, and not the minute they come into my email.
- Set times using the Pomodoro Technique: Working on one task for 25 minutes.
- I often will already turn off my notifications on my devices while I am at work. However, I think to extend it, email notifications silenced would also allow me to focus on the important tasks that need to be done by our team.
- Keep it simple, this seems to be our team’s motto for this year. Often we get held up by all the tools, extensions, etc. Many of these tools do the same thing. I think that it is time to pare down the list of tech-tools and find the right tools for the job.
- Work stays at work. I often find myself at home on weekends or at night looking at emails. This is something that needs to stay at work, and can most likely wait for the next day.
Thanks for reading!