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Are You Becoming Digitally Distracted?

Joanna Clare

In this modern age where technology has become integrated within our society at most levels, this is more apparent in the workplace than anywhere else. The constant connectivity to technology can very quickly cross the boundaries between work and personal life which in turn can lead to stress and general imbalance.

Phones, laptops, computers, ipads and all the other gadgets that are commonplace have made it increasingly difficult to disconnect from work, even when we are not there. The constant connectivity can take a toll on our wellbeing so it is crucial for our own personal benefit to recognise the need for a break and to actively seek out ways to literally unplug from technology so we can restore balance and order both within ourselves and our surroundings. Being bombarded by digital data and technology 24/7 is far from healthy.

It may be necessary to establish clear boundaries with ourselves and others between our work and personal life so setting specific times when work related technology will be turned off or inaccessible is crucial. Simply turning off work related notifications outside of working hours can help enormously in bringing back balance. Ensuring these boundaries are communicated to colleagues and managers will ensure everyone is aware of your availability and willingness regarding input as it is far too easy to become distracted by work related business. For example, someone contacting you regarding a change in plan for a meeting on Monday morning, or a client requesting information or an influx of sales information can all wait until you are officially at work. The only time this may not be applicable is if you are ‘on call’ but then this would be classed as a work related scenario anyway.

Having spaces within your home that are technology free can promote a relaxed atmosphere and will help disconnect from pressures of work, leaving you more time to concentrate on yourself and not be tempted by distraction. This can be as simple as a ‘no phones in the bedroom’ rule. It sounds simple but how many people take their phone to bed and find themselves constantly checking notifications?! It is easier said than done.

Think about giving yourself a ‘digital detox’ where you are completely disconnected from all technology for a set period of time. People are becoming much more aware of the importance of being disconnected from technology for both physical and mental health reasons as it can become all consuming and cause illness. Your brain needs time to rest and this helps you regain focus ready for when work commences again, leaving you rejuvenated and productive.

Sleep can become extremely compromised because of the blue light emitted from screens and the constant hum and buzz of gadgets. Good quality sleep is needed for cognitive function and mood regulation as well as overall general good health.

Try to become aware of the need for stepping away from the constant digital distractions and give yourself the opportunity to prioritise yourself. Self reflection can often lead to improved personal growth and improved decision making as well as allowing to be reconnected in a different way - with the present moment, appreciating simple pleasures without constant digital distractions.

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