Why reducing screen time can help you increase productivity in the digital age.

Do you work for a company where all the chat is about Mental Health, about spending less time at your screens and yet you are expected to pull out small miracles on a weekly basis with tight deadlines and long hours? This can be how the typical Digital Agency works. Is your work place somewhere you are congratulated for being the first in and the last to leave? You’re congratulated for hitting that impossible deadline that you only managed to do because you worked 30 hours extra in a week than you were contracted to do?

This is not good for you and it’s likely to be making you less productive.

Here at LEWIS we aren’t your typical agency. Mental Health isn’t just a buzz word and work life balance is key to the business. If work starts impacting our personal life, then something has gone wrong.

During any given day you will see every member of staff working at their jobs. Doing what they do because they enjoy the environment, but we won’t always be sitting at our computers. As a developer at LEWIS, you might expect to see me plugged in to my computer from 8:30am – 5pm, head down, turning caffeine in to code but this isn’t the case.

I’ll get up away from my desk. I’ll make myself a coffee, maybe sit at the kitchen counter with a notepad making notes. Jotting down my thoughts about a project or maybe even sitting on the sofas and just looking out over the dock yards next to the office. I’m getting away from my screens on purpose.

I find staring at a screen, trying to work out a solution for a problem, somehow speeds up time. What I mean by this is, researching, trying to find a solution via websites, social media or online forums takes up time. You can lose 30 minutes before you even realise it. If I had walked away from the computer, disconnected for just 5 minutes, I can clear my head, think clearer and 9 times out of 10, I will either think of a better way to solve the issue or work out the answer on my own.

We all work with computers these days but we aren’t robots. We need time away from the screens for our own health benefits too.

Here are 6 ways to help you be more productive.

  • Go for a walk during your lunch hour. Get away from your desk and computer screen and get some fresh air
  • Set a timer on your computer to go off every 30 mins and make sure you get up and away from your desk. Even if it’s just to go to get a drink of water, it’s time away from your screen and time to allow you to clear your head
  • If you get stuck on a problem, give yourself 20 mins to solve it, if you don’t solve it within the 20 mins, walk away from the problem or go on to something else. The change will help you
  • Although not necessarily an office hours activity, find a new hobby. Unplug while away from the office by taking up reading, running or go out and chat with your friends face-to-face! Don’t be plugged in all the time!
  • Prioritise your work. Take on the big job that you don’t want to do first, then, once that’s done, all the other jobs in your day will feel easy!
  • Enjoy life! If you enjoy your life, enjoy the place you work you will be more productive because you are happier! If you don’t enjoy your job, speak to someone about it. Life’s too short to be unhappy. 

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