The 5 Ways Technology Could Actually Be Limiting Your Productivity

Anna Johansson

September 03, 2019

  • Share:    
Technology has been an incredible asset for increasing our collective productivity, both in terms of allowing us to work in new ways (and creating new industries), and in terms of increasing the number of tasks we can do on a daily basis. However, new tech isn't universally "good" for productivity; in fact, some technologies may actually be limiting your productivity. How exactly does this happen, and what steps can you take to ensure the tech you adopt is only increasing your productivity?

How Technology Could Limit Your Productivity
These are some of the most common ways technology can get in the way of your work:

1. Old, slow devices. Over time, devices tend to slow down, and for several reasons. Over time, you'll install more programs and download more files, putting an increased burden on your hardware, but more importantly, the complexity and demands of your software and operating system will increase, eventually exceeding the upper thresholds of your machine's inherent limitations. You may also be dealing with a computer virus, or struggling with broken interior components. Technicians at CPR Cell Phone Repair recommend upgrading your RAM and hard drive, clearing your machine of unnecessary files, and if necessary, having a professional inspect and diagnose your machine's problem. A new computer won't always magically solve all your issues, but if you're stuck using a computer that's far slower than your true potential, it can be agonizing to deal with.

2. Security risks and failures. Security is a major consideration when using any kind of technology. Depending on the sensitivity and volume of the data you're storing, a single breach could be devastating for your business, resulting in long-term damage for your customers or rendering you unable to use your technology for days, or weeks (as is the case with increasingly-popular ransomware attacks). Too many entrepreneurs get overzealous when incorporating new tech into their businesses; they start introducing dozens of new devices and new ways to connect with each other without the necessary security infrastructure. Even worse, they may enact loose bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies that allow employees to use personal devices on professional networks and vice versa. Each of these reckless allowances increases your vulnerability, and even a single breach can be devastating for your productivity.

3. Using too many productivity apps. There are thousands of productivity apps out there, and each one claims to have the potential to help you save hours of time every week. This may be the case for many of them, but you have to be wary of leaning on too many of these apps at once; each app has its own learning curve, its own demands, and its own design and UI. If they serve overlapping functions, or if there are so many apps they serve to distract you more than help you, they can easily become counterproductive.

4. Notifications and distractions. Most of us rely on notifications to keep us attentive and on task, but notifications can quickly get overwhelming. You'll get them for incoming calls, incoming texts, incoming emails, and incoming chat messages, not to mention notifications associated with social media apps, productivity software, and more. All those vibrations and red numbers might not seem like a big deal, but remember that it takes you up to 23 minutes to fully recover your focus after a distraction. If you're getting notifications periodically throughout the day, you might find yourself in a state of perpetually less-than-optimal focus. The easiest way to conquer this obstacle is to turn off notifications most of the day; in many cases, they end up doing more harm than good.

5. Additional tasks. New technologies often seek to solve existing problems, or take over tasks you used to do manually. But some have some sneaky requirements and side effects that end up creating new tasks for you. For example, time tracking software attempts to make your team more productive by tracking how they spend their time, but it also requires them to start and stop timers and catalog their work appropriately. It also requires ongoing reporting and analysis. In some cases, these extra tasks are worth the effort�"but this isn't always the case.

Using Technology Wisely
It's easy to be lulled into complacency with the use of new technology, assuming that because you're using a specific device or a specific app, you must be getting more done every day. However, this is rarely the case. Only by using technology intelligently and deliberately can you start to see the gains in your overall productivity.

Be critical and discerning when adopting new tech for your business, and never assume that your existing setup can't be improved by the addition, removal, or modification of the tech you use on a regular basis.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

Become a WITI Member!

Are you interested in boosting your career, personal development, networking, and giving back? If so, WITI is the place for you! Become a WITI Member and receive exclusive access to attend our WITI members-only events, webinars, online coaching circles, find mentorship opportunities (become a mentor; find a mentor), and more!

Become a Member

Member Coaching Circles

There are no WITI online coaching circles scheduled at this time. Please check back soon for updates.

More Coaching Circles

Our Story

Founded in 1989, WITI (Women in Technology International) is committed to empowering innovators, inspiring future generations and building inclusive cultures, worldwide. WITI is redefining the way women and men collaborate to drive innovation and business growth and is helping corporate partners create and foster gender inclusive cultures. A leading authority of women in technology and business, WITI has been advocating and recognizing women's contributions in the industry for more than 30 years.

Read More

The organization delivers leading edge programs and platforms for individuals and companies -- designed to empower professionals, boost competitiveness and cultivate partnerships, globally. WITI’s ecosystem includes more than a million professionals, 60 networks and 300 partners, worldwide.

WITI's Mission

Empower Innovators.
Inspire Future Generations.
Build Inclusive Cultures.

As Part of That Mission WITI Is Committed to

Building Your Network.
Building Your Brand.
Advancing Your Career.