Engineers face a constant barrage of competing priorities from customers, co-workers, managers, and vendors, all while still juggling family life and personal issues. Life satisfaction and productivity are on a steady decline for engineers, because external pressure and digital distractions make it impossible to maintain creativity, focus, and a work-life balance. The daily demands at work, including emails, notifications and text messages, are continually interrupting workflow and diverting attention. Consistent productivity disintegrates as time spent deeply focusing lessens.
Loss of productivity and job satisfaction is increasingly blamed on the effects of two emerging health hazards—digiphrenia and nomophobia. These cognitive inhibitors, caused by personal devices, might be the underlying reasons for the inability to maintain focus for lengthy periods of time. While technology is the hero of modern society, it can also be the villain of workplace productivity and maintaining a work-life balance.
Improving productivity starts with an understanding of how multitasking steals energy. Dispensing brain power on multiple tasks in a short timeframe decreases the ability to concentrate and produce quality work. Multitasking actually reduces intelligence, causing mistakes, missed cues, misspellings, and irrational decision-making. The ideology of multitasking is a fallacy for most fields of work, the practicing and self-discipline of concentration and focus are far better skillsets.
With undeserving praise for multitasking and the overconsumption of electronic media, it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Will we ever be able to reach the capacity to produce as much as we desire? Our hope for efficiency lies in the Pareto Principle, the idea that only 20% of time spent working yields 80% of the total results. Scientists are making significant progress toward understanding how to increase personal productivity by optimizing the 20 percent. Start by turning off notifications and silencing email for extended periods of time. Remove all distractions. Focus takes practice, and even requires a new set of habits.
Does your day seem to fly by leaving you wondering, “What did I accomplish?” Or are you often frustrated about how little you seem to get done during the work day? Are you continuously being bombarded with trivial interruptions? It is time to take control of your time. Discover the break throughs in brain science that are teaching us to increase focus and concentration. Your level of productivity is in your hands!
Advanced Time Management is an ebook available for download. It identifies some major time-sucks in the workplace and offers practical solutions to increase focus. Download Advanced Time Management for dozens of recommendations to increase productivity, and numerous resources for further education on time management techniques. Implement a few simple suggestions and feel the accomplishment.