Research is now showing that connectivity is chaining people to the inbox.
On one hand we want to stay in touch with the tsunami of work coming through electronically, but on the other hand as knowledge workers we struggle to get just a few spare moments for core business.
Through smart teams I know many people say they are lucky to get more than 5 or 10 minutes to concentrate on some long-term or important work.
It must therefore follow that the quality of work output is going to be in five or 10 minute chunks. With some participants even receiving up to 200+ emails a day. Add to that being connected through iPhone or BlackBerry or iPad. Many people are also looking at emails not only all day but through lunch and sometimes under the desk during meetings!
Despite the need and desire to get longer chunks of time and space to do important things, the conflicting desire is to stay connected.
Having worked with hundreds of people I believe there is a now a new type of anxiety. I call it “e– anxiety”: a phantom anxiety which roams your brain at the strangest times. It makes you pre-occupied at meetings, edgy during conversations and even at home. Relentless electronic stimulus has been shown to decrease feelings of control and increase feelings of anxiety. It’s the kind of anxiety that says something somewhere is about to slip through the cracks, but I can’t even remember where the cracks are!
Smart teams helps people to question, decide and implement work processes to control the electronic workload. Working together to get things under control.
Many people say they want to work smarter not hard. To be frank I think actually most people want to work hard. I would rather say “Do work smart, don’t work long”. Harnessing and applying shared solutions particularly in the electronic world, leads to greater feelings of control, reduction in anxiety. Replacing anxietywith smart actions.