Recently I’ve finished reading book by Frances Booth “The Distraction Trap: How to Focus in a Digital World”. If you having problems with time management due to a bit of “technology addiction” (which to be honest becomes a norm nowadays…) this book is definitely for you!
I won’t call myself “a technology addict”, but yes I like to stay connected and up to date with my email, facebook etc. I have no need to check my phone every few minutes, but yes I feel weird when I forget to take it with me when I’m going out. I didn’t really pay attention to how much of my time I’m spending with my computer, browsing through things from one thing to another just scanning through texts and pictures. This book gave me a bit of the pinch in the arm really.
What is it about? Well, the author argues that the technology has merged into our lives for good, in a way mobile phones, laptops and tablets are no longer just gadgets but rather integral part of our brains… That’s weird when you think of it but in the end if we consider the ease of use, the speed of access and accessibility of the information on the net then it starts to make sense. We no longer need to memorise as much as we used to, students don’t need to spend time in the library researching materials to write the homework. The author argues that some of the benefits of modern gadgets are actually bad for our brains.
Of course technology is not going anywhere, so the author is not encouraging us to abandon all the wonders of the connected world. However, Frances Booth suggests to introduce more awareness into our day to day relationship with the technology. We can do it just by keeping track of how much time we spend on the internet, with our laptops, mobiles and tablets. According to her all the modern technologies made it easy for us to multitask but then in the end we are more productive when we concentrate just on one thing. When we are online, we usually have few tabs open, we’re likely to read the article on Guardian, talk with a friend on facebook and maybe look for a new flat on Gumtree. Then in the end we don’t give 100% of our attention to all three activities. And the same attention is a key to memory and in the end productivity.
I recommend this book, it’s an amazing read. The author not only describes the theory of the problem with attention and digital distraction but also gives tips on how to be aware of the time we spend online and how to manage that time more productively.
I’ll cut the time spend on the internet from now on. What about you?