Productivity, Technology and Being Fully Present in Life

"After a full day of non-stop schedules, work and errands, I barely have enough time to sleep! Where do I even find the time to think about personal development - purpose or beliefs - or to "look inwards"? That's a luxury reserved for a lucky few..."

Have you ever felt like that? Or know of someone who would react this way?

The word 'productivity' (a measure of output per unit of input) is frequently tossed around in economic discussions, workplace meetings and job appraisals. In certain cities in Asia such as Singapore, the government also places strong emphasis on improving productivity by providing grants for technology & efficiency solutions.

An enhanced productivity can certainly help us to be fully engaged with, and enjoy life more! So the real question should be - "How can I be more productive?" Well, use technology to your advantage of course!

Technology has allowed us to keep track of our health & wellness in the form of fitness tracker wearables, blood sugar monitors; allowed us to connect with family/friends over long distances through platforms like Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Hangouts and Facetime; enabled the disabled to be independent through machines like cognitive controlled devices and mobility equipment, etc.

From smart homes to smart phones. From games to social networking to dating, to mobile learning, to calendar scheduling, to money budgeting & management. The variety of web & phone applications available on both Android and Apple's App Store in the market is astounding! With statistics like 178.1bn of mobile apps downloaded worldwide in 2017, one can only wonder just how many apps do we really use daily?

According to the American Psychological Association, the average U.S. smartphone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day; with 86% of the surveyed checking email, texts and social media “constantly” or “often”. No wonder the rise of terms like "digital detox", "digital health & wellbeing", "human centered technology", "disconnect", "switch off", "time out".

Are we in control of technology, or is technology controlling us and affecting our health? Can we take a step back and figure out what really works best for us, and what are just distractions? When we realize what allows us to carry out certain tasks more efficiently, and consciously get rid of those that do not simplify our lives; we can start to look up, instead of at our phones, and get fully involved in the present moment!

Productivity is not just about tech though. Habits and routines that we stick to, can either make or break our attempts to improve personal productivity (and even efficiency in a corporate organization)! Being aware of our actions throughout the day, and acknowledging the moments where we can make better use time - be it for work or play - can have a great impact on how well we engage with work, life and the people around us.

Isn't this why we are oh-so-curious about the habits of highly successful people (think productivity gurus like Tim Ferriss & his 4 Hour Work Week), and why interview questions always highlight what these individuals can achieve in the same 24 hours that we all have?

Our theme for the 3Q18 is on productivity - and as a result of productivity, more quality time can be spent on the things that truly matter.

So, work and live smart! An increase in productivity helps us to save time amidst our busy schedules. Time that can be better prioritized and spent with family and friends, pursuing our passions and hobbies, or even to stop & smell the rose, to appreciate nature. On things that truly matter. Are you ready to focus and take productive action for a better, healthier life?

We are!