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How Your Lover Could be Killing Your Productivity

Very few people have followed this blog from its beginnings. If you are one of those people, you might remember that my very first blog post was called, “My Crackberry is my Blankie,” and it was all about my addiction to my Blackberry and how I go to sleep with it every night. Fast forward 4 years, replace the Crackberry with my new HTC DNA, and you pretty much have the same situation. I’m so attached to my phone that I call him, Stan. And yes, I sleep with him every night. He’s my lover and he’s more than likely killing my productivity.

The act of checking texts, emailing, Facebooking, or anything else on the web before bed has become a habit to over 95% of participants in a recent survey. In fact, 83% of young people sleep next to their cell phones and 35% of smartphone users boot up apps before getting out of bed.

Maybe it’s not your phone. Maybe it’s your tablet. Or the computer. But if you’re guilty of any of the following, then your technology is your lover and it’s killing your productivity too.

  • Is it that last thing you look at before you close your eyes?
  • When you wake up in the middle of the night do you look over to make sure it’s still there?
  • Do you cuddle with it while you sleep?
  • When you wake up is it the first thing you say good morning to your phone?

When your mind is obsessed with checking messages constantly, it can effect your head – one in two people say that if they wake in the night for no reason, they’ll check their phone right away. Two-hour exposure to light from electronic displays suppresses melatonin by 22%. This doesn’t just affect your sleep but also stress and depressive symptoms.  (Your Technology is Keeping You Awake)

Not only does lack of sleep makes you downright witchy, but it also has short-term consequences at work:

  • Sleep deprivation induces significant reductions in performance and alertness. Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as 1.5 hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32 percent.
  • Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness impair your memory and your cognitive ability—your ability to think and process information.
  • Excessive sleepiness also contributes to a greater than twofold higher risk of sustaining an occupational injury.(How sleep deprivation affects work performance)

And in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers estimated that lost productivity due to poor sleep cost $3,156 per employee with insomnia and averaged about $2,500 for those with less severe sleep problems. Across four sample companies, sleep-related reductions in productivity cost $54 million a year. This doesn’t include the cost of absenteeism–those with insomnia missed work an extra five days a year compared to good sleepers.

So, power down! Set some boundaries with your lover… I know it’s hard, especially when it’s shiny and brand new. But check out this infographic and you’ll see why it’s important that when you go to bed, you say good night to your technology too.

 

Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a strategic communications leader with nearly 20 years experience in both internal and external communications. She is a passionate advocate for developing communications that foster a stronger relationship between the organization and its employees. She is a global keynote speaker on employee engagement and HR communications. Elizabeth is a certified professional in Employer Brand through Universum Global's Employer Branding Academy.

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