Productivity in the Digital Age

Productivity in the digital age.

When leaving your home for work in the morning, what are your essentials? Things that you have to have? Keys, wallet, maybe a laptop, and your phone, of course. As much as we may not like to admit it, we are continually attached to our phones. They have become a necessity for most of our daily lives.


Today’s technology allows us to communicate instantly across multiple platforms, devices, countries, and time zones. The world is at our fingertips, quite literally. The digital age, however, has a dark side. What happens to productivity when we are always connected? Can we focus in the face of so many distractions?
urgency versus importance matrix
Being productive is something that everyone strives for. Humans are now more productive than ever. Productivity and efficiency are highly esteemed and sought-after traits. We have faster computers, more emails per hour, better output, throughput, and better turn arounds. But sometimes those moment to moment distractions of alerts, emails, and calls pull us away from the most important task: human connection.


Human connections are becoming less common in our digital age, even though we are always connected through the internet. I would like to present the idea that, by organizing and balancing our activities appropriately, we be more productive and efficient, and we can also become more present and attentive to others.

I’ve listed a few ways to increase your productivity throughout the day, things like prioritizing tasks, single tasking, and removing alerts.


Begin by sorting tasks can be sorted into the following categories:

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Productivity in the aigital age expanded matrix (min)



One way to complete everything on your To Do list and remain at fully engaged with customers and people is to prioritize.

Urgent but not Important:

Today, most of our tasks fall into this category. Everything has a deadline, but are often little things to be completed that end up using a lot of time but result in very little. If possible, these tasks can be delegated to a team to ensure a quick response. If not, starting with the oldest tasks and working your way to the newest guarantees that nothing slips through the cracks.

Urgent and Important:

These are your top priority items, including items that are time sensitive. These are your high level decisions that sometimes take more time to complete. It is best to tackle these first and respond with timely updates.

Not Important nor Urgent:

These are obviously the least favored but often required tasks that we complete on a daily basis to keep the lights on. It is best to delegate or sometimes delete (yes, delete) these tasks from your To Do list. If the email or call has nothing to do with your position, politely decline for a more important task.

Important but not Urgent:

These are medium decisions that help foster more high level decisions. This category would also contain projects that span over a long length of time. The best way to tackle a project like this would be to create a series of mini deadlines so that this does not become urgent.

By categorizing your daily To Do list like this, you can get the most important and urgent tasks completed, and the other tasks will also be taken care of. Determining priorities and delegating tasks allows you to have the best of both worlds because, you get the most important things off your To Do list, and all of the other tasks are completed in a timely manner. This sort of productivity leads to higher customer satisfaction, better response times, and happier employees.

Single Tasking vs. Multitasking

In our lives, we have a lot of distracting things in front of us. They often pull us from getting one task fully completed before we have to start another. The solution is actually very simple:, complete one task at a time. This has become more difficult to do since we have multiple media outlets vying for our attention. By completing one item at a time, you are able to be thorough in tasks rather than halfway finishing them, and you are able to check off more tasks throughout the day.

Removing Feeds, Alerts and Breaking News

When I began my career, I had every alert, feed, and email coming in on both my phone and my computer. It was so distracting to see email after email come in as I was working on a task. I had trouble finishing one thing before wanting to click on another urgent item. But once I turned off the alerts, one by one, I was able to focus, complete a task, and move onto another task more quickly than I had before. Once I finished one thing, I could check my phone or email to ensure that I didn’t miss anything important, and could continue with my day. I felt no fear of missing out because I knew that even if I was a few minutes late to read the email, I could respond fully and confidently, rather than distractedly or too quickly. I was able to give tasks, people, and orders my full attention.


By simply silencing your phone before a big meeting, or removing an email alert on your teleconference, you can give the people around you the full attention that they deserve. In the same way, more tasks can be completed without distractions, providing you with a high rate of efficiency and productivity.These fully in-tune moments are important in today’s digital world, and while sometimes forgotten, are much appreciated.


First seen in: Corrugated Today

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Title: Productivity in the digital age
May/June 2018 [download id=”9610″]

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