I’ve noticed that my productivity has taken a dive this past week, in spite of the fact that I’m actually working a fair number of hours (at least in the context of a university professor during the summer semester). I’m working on some fairly complex stuff that I would rather not be doing. It’s really hard work.
I think my productivity drop might have to do with the number of online distractions that I happily succumb to in order to avoid doing actual work. Yesterday, I found a wonderful post called Why I returned my iPad by Peter Bregman. He notes that our lives are so full, and the ubiquitous presence of technology creates guilt whenever we a just hanging out. The guilt occurs because we could be working.
My brain can’t work all the time. When I spend too much time in my head I become overwhelmed. Then I start to need distraction, so I start to surf. Which makes me feel even more overwhelmed. Which actually reduces my productivity, either because I’m completely muddled due to too much input, or I’m totally distracted hopping from place to place using technology.
So I have a problem. Either I’m not effective but working like a little beaver, or I feel guilty because I’m not working. Either way, it’s not working for me right now. So I’m taking a technology mini-break. I plan to think of nothing more important that what’s for dinner. No technology until Monday. No thinking until Monday. Maybe my brain will recuperate by then.