We are inundated with technologies in the world of work. The current pandemic has made this even more apparent; we’re using more technology than ever before in our work and personal lives to try and do our jobs well, stay connected to the world, and to keep our information safe and secure.

Every app, tool and notification competes for our time and attention. Technology which was once designed to make us more productive, is in fact, doing the opposite.

There’s a study, which I think perfectly illustrates this, carried out at London’s Institute of Psychiatry all the way back in 2005. Researchers found that when workers were distracted by emails and phone calls, they experienced a 10-point fall in their IQ. The head researcher, Dr. Glen Wilson, warned at the time of the impact of ‘infomania’ on our mental sharpness. Fast-forward 15 years, and I wonder what he’d make of the ‘infomania’ we face at work today.

But this can change. The current coronavirus pandemic—which has seen knowledge-workers worldwide radically overhaul their ways of working—is accelerating the need to reassess how we work. Businesses are still getting to grips with managing the new dynamic that comes with fully distributed teams, but with this challenge comes an opportunity to go back to the drawing board when it comes to how we manage and measure our work. Part of the answer lies in ruthless prioritisation.

The problem: wasted time

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