Monday, July 25, 2005

Driven to distraction by technology

This is an interesting antidote to the mobility-acceleration path of thinking:

"The typical office worker is interrupted every three minutes by a phone call, e-mail, instant message or other distraction. The problem is that it takes about eight uninterrupted minutes for our brains to get into a really creative state, reports

mug_mouse_drinking.jpg "The result, says Carl Honore, journalist and author of "In Praise of Slowness," is a situation where the digital communications that were supposed to make working lives run more smoothly are actually preventing people from getting critical tasks accomplished .

.. . For years, technology has worked to get people more connected. In the office there's e-mail, instant messages and the phone. On the road, cell phones and BlackBerrys enable workers to stay in touch with colleagues.

There is a mini rebellion under way, however. Desperate for some quiet time to think, people are coming up with low-tech strategies to get away from all their technology . That has Microsoft and others taking note and looking for ways to create software that can be more adept at preventing interruptions.

... Businesses could benefit from introducing a collective effort to switch off, Honore said. He points to the marketing department at Veritas Software, which last year instituted "E-mail-free Fridays" for its marketing department.

... Although technology can and should make it easier to slow down, part of the change needs to be a different set of priorities.

"Technology has kind of turned the tables on us," Honore said. "We move to its speed and its rhythm."

Via Smartmobs

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