Let's deal with digital overload

  • Online
  • Digital People

Today, we have become so accustomed to the different tools, that we couldn’t imagine our work life without them anymore. It is also thanks to these digital innovations that businesses were able to carry on with their operations over the past couple of months. And in a year of isolation, online systems were essential to maintain social connections between employees and even between families and friends after working hours.

 So, while the advantages of online platforms are clear, it’s worth taking a closer look at the effect they really have on our productivity.

"Zoom fatigue"

 A few years ago, no one had ever heard of the term ‘Zoom fatigue’. But now you often hear people complaining about tiredness or lacklustre caused by the overuse of virtual platforms. In some cases, the excessive use of online platforms can even lead to burn-out.

Are these platforms messing with our heads?
It’s not the platforms themselves that wreak havoc on our mental health, it’s the way we use them.

These online tools are built for interconnectivity and multitasking. And that’s where the danger lies. This might come as a shock to some people since multitasking was long thought to be the essence of productivity. But it turns out the opposite is true, in fact, multitasking is detrimental for our brain and our performance. And yet we all do it: writing an email and checking WhatsApp; answering a phone call while in a virtual meeting, or worst of all texting and driving.

 Our brain cannot handle it 

Research indicates that our brain is not capable of handling multiple cognitive tasks at the same time. By doing several things simultaneously, you actually become less efficient and less productive.

Since our brain is not wired to cope with two tasks at the same time, it constantly switches between them, causing micro-breaks and gaps in your workflow. So, while you believe you are working efficiently and productively, the opposite is true.

In short, the concept of multitasking is a hoax: we might be under the illusion that we can combine different tasks during the same time span, but we simply can’t. In the long run, multitasking is a bad habit that taxes the brain and leads to decreased productivity and performance and potentially even burn-out.

The solution is simple: STOP MULTITASKING. 

But that’s easier said than done...
We have become so used to this way of working that breaking the habit will not be easy. However, to increase your efficiency and productivity, and protect your mental wellbeing, it’s important to be aware of the effects of multitasking. Next time you feel the urge to check your phone when working on something, or you want to answer a call while attending a virtual meeting, simply stop yourself. Give your brain a break and maximise your productivity by focusing on one task at a time.

Thank you Hugo Meganck (Xylos) for reminding us about this!
Watch the full recording or download the presentations here.

  • Presentation: NL
  • Slides: EN
  • Q&A: NL EN FR

Stress, to-do lists without endings, deadlines coming up... Work is always calling. 

Today we have an overwhelming amount of digital tools designed to make our jobs and lives easier. But here's the downside: you constantly receive notifications, you are distracted more easily and the balance and boundaries between work and private life are fading away.

How do you manage all these tools and keep your head cool with the constant flow of notifications and information? Hugo Meganck, learning consultant at Xylos shares with us 5 tips.

You might also be interested in