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高效率与幸福感的秘诀:每天离线一小时

Why an off-the-grid hour at work is so crucial
高效率与幸福感的秘诀:每天离线一小时

Last month, Apple introduced its ‘Screen Time’ feature, which lets users access real-time reports about how much time they spend on their devices.

2018年末,苹果手机推出了“屏幕使用时间”功能,让用户可以实时查看自己花费了多少时间看手机。

Haven’t looked at it yet? You should. Whether you check Screen Time on your work or personal phone, your reaction will probably similar to mine: “Yikes!”

还没查过吗?你应该去查查。无论是工作手机还是私人手机,看看使用时间,你的反应很可能和我一样,会发出惊讶一声:“哎呀!”

Many of us really do spend large chunks of time on our devices – computers, tablets, smartphones – both at home and at work, often without even realising it. On the job in particular, emails, notifications, internal messaging systems and the internet can take up huge parts of the day.

我们中许多人确实花了大量时间在电子设备上:电脑、平板电脑、智能手机,无论是在家里还是在工作中,而我们通常甚至没有意识到这一点。尤其是在工作中,电子邮件、通知、内部通讯系统和互联网占据了一天中的大部分时间。

But this kind of technology can make us less productive, not more. That’s where daily, mini tech detoxes at work can help – even just for an hour.

但是这种技术只会降低、而不是提高我们的生产力。这就是每天在工作中作“迷你技术排毒”的好处,哪怕只是一个小时的时间。

The power of a (brief) tech detox

(短暂)技术排毒的功效

Studies have shown the bad effects tech obsessions can have on health, happiness and productivity: the screens strain our eyes. The 24/7 work messaging culture makes us depressed and stressed. The internet preys on our most obsessive and addictive tendencies.

研究表明,沉迷互联网对健康、幸福感和工作效率都有不良的影响:屏幕会使眼睛疲劳。7天24小时的工作通讯文化让我们感到沮丧和压力。互联网利用的是我们最痴迷、最容易上瘾的那些特性。

In 2012 American researchers looked at email, perhaps the most pernicious and hated tech distraction of the 21st Century workplace. They put heart monitors on office workers and found that those who accessed email on the job, switching among multiple browser windows and applications, experienced higher heart rates and higher stress.

2012年,美国研究人员对电子邮件进行了研究,发现它可能是21世纪工作场所里最有害、最令人憎恨的分散人注意力的科技应用。研究人员在办公室员工身上安装了心脏监测器,发现那些在工作时接收电子邮件,在多个浏览器窗口和应用程序之间切换的人,心率较高,压力感更强。

Of course, there’s no way to go fully off the grid. You can’t not check email at work. Ghosting on social media or flushing your phone down a metaphorical toilet is “abdicating responsibility for navigating the world we live in”, says Pamela Rutledge, a psychologist who specialises in media.

当然,完全脱离互联网也是不可能的。工作时你不可能不查看邮件。专门研究媒体的心理学家拉特利奇(Pamela Rutledge)表示,在社交媒体上消失,或者把手机扔进隐喻意义上的马桶里冲走,"等于放弃了适应我们置身其中的这个世界的责任。

Instead, it’s about learning to cut corners throughout the day, being more mindful and freeing up time that lets you treat the technology as just another task.

相反,我们要学习在一天的工作中如何抄近路,更加专心和释放时间,让你把上网只当做另一个任务来对待而已。

“Freeing up cognitive bandwidth and energy – that’s the goal,” says Rutledge.

“腾出认知的带宽和能量,这就是我们的目标”,拉特利奇说。

Multi-tasking is an illusion

“一心多用”是一种错觉

Finding a tech-free hour at work isn’t a matter of hiding in the broom closet, meditating in a ’mindfulness’ room or locking your iPhone in a drawer either. The trick is to stop trying to multi-task – particularly between tech devices and applications.

纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com/

工作期间找一个小时“技术隔离”并不意味着躲在杂物间,也不是在“正念”的房间里冥想,或者把你的iphone锁在抽屉里。诀窍是停止一心多用,特别是在各种技术设备和应用程序的包围中试图同时完成多项任务。

“Neuroscientists have clearly shown that the human brain is not designed to multitask, but serial task,” says Sandra Sgoutas-Emch, psychology professor at the University of San Diego.

圣地亚哥大学的心理学教授古塔斯-埃姆什(Sandra Sgoutas-Emch)说:“神经系统科学家已经清楚地说明,人类的大脑不是为同时应对多项任务设计的,而是为了连续任务设计的”。

Your brain needs time to catch up and refocus on each new task, and “studies show that focusing on one task at a time allows your attention to be maintained and complete the task more efficiently”.

你的大脑需要时间来赶上并重新专注于每一项新的任务,而且“研究表明,一次专注于一个任务可以让你的保持集中注意力、并且能更有效的完成任务。”

Taking a short tech detox each day helps your brain do this, Sgoutas-Emch says.

古塔斯-埃姆什说,每天一次短暂的技术排毒可以帮助你的大脑做到这一点。

Time is gobbled up by the tiny tech interactions that seep into every work hour. Yet constant switching between devices, activities and browser windows builds anxiety and creates distractions.

工作中随时可能出现的、不起眼的技术互动会吞噬我们的时间。然而,不断地在各种设备、各项活动和浏览器窗口之间切换会造成焦虑和分心。

“The increased volume means we have to switch tasks more often,” says Matthias Holweg, professor of operations management at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. “Every time we switch from one task to another, we lose set-up time, so are less productive overall.”

牛津大学赛德商学院运营管理教授霍尔韦格(Matthias Holweg)说,“工作量的增加意味着我们必须更频繁的转换任务, 每次我们从一个任务切换到另一个任务,我们都丢掉了准备时间,因此总体上效率会更低。”

Without a small tech hiatus, it’s hard to break that cycle. “Our brains crave instant gratification: checking WhatsApp, Facebook or email every 10 minutes,” he says. “But that is antithetical to productive work, unfortunately.”

没有小小的技术空隙,这个循环很难打破。他说,“我们的大脑总是心痒痒地想上网,每十分钟就想查一下WhatsApp、脸书或电邮。但不幸的是,这无益于我们的工作效率。”

How to do it

怎么办?

The good news is that experts are here to give you a game plan. Creating an hour each day at work that keeps you off the digital grid is simply a matter of smart planning.

好消息是,专家们为你提供了一个计划。在每天的工作中找出一个小时来远离互联网,用心筹划即可做到。

Nearly every expert interviewed for this piece recommends only checking your email at certain points throughout the day. That means turning off on-screen notifications that pop up in the corner with each email or setting up multiple ‘out-of-office’ emails per day. Then pick two or three times each day where you sit down and plough through your inbox.

几乎所有接受本文采访的专家都建议,只在一天中的某些时间点检查邮件。这意味着关掉收到每封邮件时屏幕角落里会弹出来的收件通知,或者每天设置多例“外出”通知。然后每天选择两至三次,坐下来好好浏览一下你的收件箱。

You can apply the same strategy to other digital distractions, like social media or smartphone use. And you can also plan short interludes where you are not interacting with any technology at all.

你可以把同样的策略应用到其他的数字娱乐上,比如社交媒体或者智能手机。在不接触任何技术设备的间隙中也可穿插安排短暂的活动。

“Schedule times during the day to take a walk outside – leave your phone,” says Sgoutas-Emch. “If the weather is bad, walk around the building and speak to colleagues. Take a real lunch.”

古塔斯-埃姆什说,“每天安排出去散步,不要带手机。如果天气不好,在大楼周围走走,与同事交谈。吃一顿真正的午餐。”

Tech isn’t the problem – per se

技术本身不是问题

Not every job involves sitting in front of a computer or being tied to a smartphone, and not everyone has a personality type that glues to them to the grid. Plus, much like getting more sleep, shoehorning an extra unplugged hour into your day doesn’t really address the bigger problems that cause your bad habits in the first place.

并不是所有的工作都需要坐在电脑前或者和智能手机绑在一起完成,并非所有的人都会沉迷于网络而不能自拔。另外,就像增加睡眠一样,在一天中额外加入不连电的一小时并不能真正解决导致你坏习惯的更大问题。

But trying to go cold turkey – as some top CEOs or tech gurus do – could do more harm than good.

但是,走“冷火鸡”路线--突然戒瘾,就像一些顶级CEO或者技术大师那样,可能弊大于利。

“If a person has a habit of smoking, and they’re away from their cigarettes for a while, it creates tension,” says Gloria Mark, who led that 2012 study about email and who’s an informatics professor at the University of California, Irvine.

主导2012年有关电子邮件研究的加利福尼亚大学欧文分校信息学教授格罗莉‧马克(Gloria Mark)说,“如果一个人有吸烟的习惯,要是有一段时间没有吸烟,会造成他们情绪紧张。”

Depending on your job, eliminating (or even significantly reducing) tech may also be totally unrealistic. But Mark thinks organisations also have a responsibility to ensure employees don’t become tech slaves.

取决于你的工作性质,消除(甚至大幅减少)上网也可能是完全不现实的。但是马克认为,工作单位也有责任确保员工不成为互联网的奴隶。

“For example, releasing emails at certain times during the day,” she says. “Batching email could help because it changes the expectations.”

她说,“例如,在一天中只在特定时间发送电子邮件, 批量群发电子邮件可能有帮助,因为这会改变人们随时都有可能收到邮件的期待值。”

Instead of employees being bombarded with distracting messages that make them more stressed and less efficient, email would become just one more task. And workers would get to it when it made the most sense, rather than feeling pressure to reply immediately.

与其让员工受到那些让他们压力更大、效率更低、分散他们注意力的信息的不断轰炸,不如用群发电子邮件去完成这个任务。员工们会在完全明白的情况下有效工作,如果他们不断受到要立即回应上司指令的压力,效果反而可能不佳。

It’s a topic that’s been explored before: a 2017 law in France made it legal for workers to ignore work email outside of working hours, and New York City mulled over a bill of its own last year. Volkswagen stopped sending employees off-the-clock emails way back in 2012.

这个话题以前也探讨过:法国2017年的一项法律规定,员工在工作时间以外忽视工作电子邮件是合法的,纽约市去年也在考虑这样的立法。大众汽车早在2012年就停止在下班后给员工发送电子邮件。

Although there’s no full escape from technology for many of us, the power of a work-day hour away from it isn’t to be underestimated. We can find that extra time through smarter scheduling and using digital tools differently. Otherwise, says Rutledge, this technology ends up being more trouble than it’s worth.

虽然我们很多人都没有办法完全摆脱科技,但是工作日中远离科技一小时,它的力量是不可低估的。我们可以通过更妥善地安排和使用数字工具找到额外的时间。拉特利奇说,不然的话,技术手段带来的麻烦最终可能要超过它的价值。

“Having to continually redirect your attention is more cognitively fatiguing,” she says, “than the thing you have to get done.”

她说,“不停地转移注意力比必须完成的任务更容易造成认知疲劳。”

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