Greatness begins with awareness.

Going Dark: Disconnecting from Email and Phone to Improve Productivity

Going Dark to improve productivityThe other day a client mentioned that she would be “going dark” because she had to work on a big project. I was intrigued with the term, not having heard it used before. She meant that she would be heads down and not connecting with others in her organization while she was in project management mode. Unplugging would help her improve her productivity.

Later that same week, I was to have an evening call with a colleague who was travelling for a conference. She left me a message before our call to let me know she wouldn’t be able to talk; she was exhausted from the day and she needed to “go dark” before her early morning departure. Hmm, there was that new term again.

I love how these new expressions come about, catch on and become a part of our natural way of speaking. To date, I have not heard “going dark” used again, but I assume it will become more common.

“Going dark” certainly makes sense and I understand its value.

Reclaiming Our Boundaries To Improve Productivity

Many of us, and I include myself, are so connected – even addicted – to our various devices to check our email, social media connections and text messages. As I think about previous technology chapters, I may prefer the days when looking at email didn’t happen until we arrived at the office. Now we can read upon waking or as part of our morning routine. Yes, we are more connected and our current technology gives us a feeling that we are part of a global community. But at what cost? What does all this instant connectivity do to our ability to be present and grounded in our daily lives?

Does being constantly connected hinder instead of improving our productivity?

Maybe we need some informal guidelines as to when and how often we check our devices. I know many executives feel that they have to be available to review messages and respond around the clock and are exhausted by it. I liked the days when we responded within business hours and those boundaries were respected by the majority.

Do you have intentional times when you “go dark” or follow some guidelines on how often you check your devices to manage your own sanity. I would love to hear if people are creating boundaries to manage the constant stream of communication.

Please share. I promise not to respond before breakfast!


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