We live in a technological age where screens, be they our computers, smartphones or tablets, are central to daily activities. The value of screen time and the impacts of an overreliance on devices have long been a topic of debate about children. However, in more recent times, the discussion has shifted towards the impact of screen-time on adults concerning their productivity at work and their general mental health. A recent poll suggested that the average adult would spend 34 years of their lives looking at screens, which is quite shocking when you think about it.
Reducing screen time whilst also maintaining productivity – especially when working from home – almost sounds paradoxical. But, not only is it possible, it can actually be a benefit to you, particularly when working against deadlines to complete tasks in an efficient and timely manner. So, if your boss is tightening the reins on meetings, this is your chance to put your time management skills into practice. As for break times, as tempting as browsing the net playing online casino games that come with exclusive offers of the no deposit variety, we suggest that you distance yourself from your screen for a bit. Get up and take a breather. Even if it means going for a 5-minute walk and getting your dose of fresh air!
If you aren’t convinced, here are some of the ways that reducing screen time can increase your productivity:
Improves Your Physical Health
Spending excessive time in front of a screen gives rise to several physical issues such as reduced vision and neck and back pain, but it also cuts into your exercise time. Dedicating more time to physical activities such as walking outside in nature or hitting has significant positive impacts in terms of preventing obesity and conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, too much screen time tends to mean people have trouble sleeping. Add to that the fact that you are more likely to snack on unhealthy foods while being distracted by what’s on your screen, and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.
Making More Meaningful Real-Life Social Connections
Of course, living during a global pandemic demonstrated the ways in which technology could be used to maintain social interaction. However, these were unprecedented times. In reality, technology tends to inhibit social connections. We are so caught up being engaged with the screens that we don’t interact with people around us in more meaningful ways. These days it is quite common to go out and see a family at a restaurant with everyone on their screens rather than holding a real-life conversation. Being fully present when you are interacting with other people will certainly have a positive impact on your relationships. Having meaningful social connections is important in a person’s professional and personal life. For instance, having a good rapport with colleagues is crucial when it comes to working productively as part of a team.
Boosts Your Mood
Stepping away from a screen and spending more time outdoors or doing other activities can boost a person’s mood. Studies have shown that social media usage has links to depression and anxiety. Engaging in social activities or getting more fresh air is known to have positive impacts on mental health. In turn, being in a positive space mentally will likely improve productivity as it will ensure you are less distracted when it comes to focusing on the task at hand.
Better Efficiency and Focus
Studies have shown that spending too much time using screens and social media especially can make it difficult for people to focus. In many cases, screen time is linked to instant gratification and can distract you from the more mundane tasks on your to-do list, such as work assignments. Restricting the time spent engaging with devices can increase a person’s overall efficiency and free up more time to focus on the important tasks.
Technological devices are a part of our everyday reality, so it is difficult to avoid them entirely. After all, our screens are an important tool for work and social communication. However, excessive screen time can also have negative impacts on our physical health, mental wellness and social interactions; In turn, this also reduces productivity. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the negative impacts of screentime. For instance, some apps allow you to track and limit screen time, and you can switch off notifications which can be distracting. It is also worth enforcing screen-free zones in your workplace and home to give everyone some time out from technology.