Opinion - The Helpful Hinderance of Technology

I love my laptop. My cell phone is great and all the software I have is super helpful. I enjoy getting text messages, instant messages and e-mails. The occasional phone call is nice, too. And while all of these technologies are helpful and a lot of fun, they can prove to be a real distraction throughout the day.

It's funny how the things that are meant to help us do our work faster and more efficiently are the very same things that cause distraction and delays. I mean, how many times have you found yourself on the phone with someone for a half an hour, just to get the answer to a simple question? Or what about the never-ending e-mail reply chain? Yeah, I've been there too.

So what's the solution to these tech-induced problems? For starters, you could try turning off your cell phone when you need to concentrate. Don't open instant messaging software if you don't want to be interrupted. And how about you disable that alert each time you get a new e-mail message?

I'm an e-mail junkie. Love to receive it and send it. I love getting the notification that I have more mail. Does that make me strange?  However, stopping what you're doing every five minutes to reply to new messages as they come in can be distracting. Instead of responding to e-mail as soon as you get it, respond once every few hours. If it's a pressing matter, go ahead and respond, but know that each time you lose concentration on whatever project is at hand, you lose a bit of that creative energy that can only come during prolonged concentration. Just so you know.

So what's the point of all this? More than anything, don't let the "convenient" technology that surrounds you day-to-day to run your life. I love the latest gadgets as much as the next gal, but without a break from it, how can I possibly appreciate it? Be good to yourself and take a break once in awhile, if at least just to gather your thoughts.