We live in an era of 24/7 communication, doing more with less and increased responsibilities at home and at work. But being busy all the time has become a bit of the norm so how can you streamline your day to achieve more?
Productivity specialist and author of Leadership Hacks, Scott Stein, says that there are five key things that we can do to ensure that your day is very productive and that you get on top of all the things you need to do. He's our guest all this week on RE Uncut as we look at those five key things. Scott's helped thousands of leaders around the world implement fast track strategies that improve productivity.
How can you control you use of social media?
Scott said: “I think what we have to do is we have to control technology. Technology is a great tool, but we need to use it as a tool. Which means we need to know when to turn it on and when to turn it off or ignore it. I think that's the important thing. There was an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review and it was just out earlier this year. The title of it based on the research was ‘Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking.’
“What the research showed even having my smartphone on my desk was a distraction. They actually did experiments with people and found by me actually having my smartphone next to me, people would stop their flow of what they were actually working on just to double-check their phone. Right? I think that's what you've got to get on top of.”
How can phones harm work relationships?
Scott said: “I think that's a big one. If you are a principal, running your own office, be aware of the messages you're sending your staff. Because constantly if you don't look at them, if you're not present with them and you're on your phone, you're kind of telling them, ‘I don't really care about you. You don't really matter.’ That's not a good message to have. Likewise, your team and your agents when they're talking with prospective clients coming in, make sure that they're not distracted kind of glancing at their phone all the time.”
What are some strategies to help control technology?
Scott said: “The thing that I find, some of the strategies that people could use, like turn off your notifications. Turn off some of those things that constantly remind you. I can guarantee if you're an agent you're going to go on and check things anyway, so you're not going to miss something. Right? Because there are times when you need to be present, focus on something else.
“This also happens as well at home. How do we balance what we do in the office and the agency with what we're doing at home? I can't tell you how many times the family kind of give you that look to say, ‘You're on your phone again?’ or ‘Can't we have a conversation? Can't we have dinner together where you're not constantly in your phone?’ Most people can wait five or 10 minutes for you to call them back, but I think we need to know how to control it.”
Why is technology and social media so addictive?
Scott said: “I think there's actually a study from the 1950s that shows what happens when we get that little instant gratification. Right? Because every time we check that email we see there's a little bit of instant gratification. Essentially what the research showed one of the chemicals in your brain, dopamine, gets released every time that happens. Every time you check it you see it and it feels good, it feels like I'm on top of things.
“The challenge is, and the research in the 1950s they did this with rats, they actually put them on electrodes and they pushed a lever every time they pushed a lever, they got that little hit of dopamine. Well some rats were pushing the lever 700 times an hour, right, and then collapsing. Not that we're rats, but we're very similar. That dopamine, that gets addictive. I'll just keep checking my email. Let me check my email. Let me go on the Facebook and double-check it. I think that's where it takes us out of control.
“If you looked at some of the research, there's now addiction clinics in China for people that actually that are so wired to their devices. They've actually treated over 10,000 people in the last five years.”
Part 3 to come.
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