We literally have the same 24 hours in a day but do you ever, at the end of what has been a gruelling day, look back and in disappointment find that much of what needed to be done is still pending?
Such is the situation that many in the working class find themselves in as they trade their time for a pay check at the end of the month. There is nothing wrong with this exchange of value, only that with time we tend to overextend ourselves to try and compensate for our lack of productivity by putting in more hours, whether as overtime at the office, carrying work home or hiving out time over the weekend to catch up. Throw in Key Performance Indicators(KPIs), appraisals and all manner of targets and you quickly see that the very tools that were meant to make it easier for us to produce more, drive efficiency, and maximize return per hour of employment or consultancy are resulting in the inverse.
Without a doubt, the uptake of OTT platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Skype, Viber, WeChat, Hangouts, Kik among others, coupled with the explosion of collaboration services such as Slack, Facebook Workplace, Atlassian’s now deprecated HipChat, Microsoft Teams and a slew of others, has seen the attrition of active work hours increase. Not to forget our beloved e-mails, SMS, calls and the very popular open plan office.
It is the meeting you get co-opted into whether scheduled or impromptu, chats from colleagues working remotely asking for one thing or another, e-mail or SMS from a potential or active client that you feel you need to close or upsell.
Addicted to notifications
Across these experiences, we deploy tools in the hope that they will supercharge us, but instead, we end up burning out addicted to blue ticks, presence notifications that show us someone is typing, the satisfaction of an e-mail read receipt and the anticipation of a response.
There are operational business processes that thrive in real-time environments and these can be automated and therefore do not need human intervention. Processes that require actual man-hours need to be subjected to a technology quarantine if we are to realize the full potential of human capital operating within our businesses and corporations.
Good work requires uninterrupted time and focus and sometimes technology does get in the way.
Kindly, do not disturb.
Cover image credit: Cytonn Photography/Unsplash