When Chuck Swoboda retired from the Cree after 16 years as CEO, he realized he had a problem: he had become addicted to connectivity. He had always embraced the constant flow of communication afforded by new technologies, but was starting to realize that he didn’t have control of the technology—rather, technology was in control of him.
Swoboda’s realization made him take the time to find a better balance between too much technology and no connectivity at all. Here are some ideas he has come up with for managing connectivity on your own terms.
Set aside time to unplug: Being connected is a choice, just as being disconnected is a choice. You have more control than you think you do, but you have to decide to take control. The easiest solution is to establish times each day when you are going to unplug. Swoboda suggests making different unplug times for different reasons. For instance, establish that your sleeping time or focus time will be free of communication technology.
Think more, react less: Despite what you may have been led to believe, you control when and how you communicate. The key to productive communication is to respond on your own terms; it’s better to respond thoughtfully at a good moment than to respond right away. If it’s through electronic messaging, realize that you are not obliged to interrupt what you’re doing to respond. The same is true for phone calls. In fact, it may be better to limit your phone calls during the day. Research studies suggest that it takes 23 minutes to return your full attention to the task-at-hand after a notification has briefly forced you to switch tasks.
Stop trying to multitask: Two doctors from the Cleveland Clinic published an article that reports, “For nearly all people, in nearly all situations, multitasking is impossible. When we think we’re multitasking, most often we aren’t really doing two things at once—but instead, individual actions in rapid succession.” Swoboda says it’s much better to disconnect and focus on one thing! Want to get the full story from Swoboda? Have a look right here.