Podcast | Putting Humans First With Rob Krecak

On June 21 Rob Krecak of humansfirst.us and I talked about:

  • Who Rob is and his work
  • technology mindfulness (consulting)
  • screen time
  • 4 hour work week and 4 day work week
  • burnout
  • productivity
  • Facebook and social media
  • email
  • video games
  • addiction
  • virtual reality and augmented reality
  • retreating into fantasy worlds
  • anxiety of notifications and constantly checking (average of once every six minutes)
  • technology activates our sympathetic nervous system
  • sleep
  • various habits around tech devices
  • not having any email access on cell phone
  • the value of attention and how companies capitalize on it
  • how to minimize cell phone notifications
  • distractions
  • continuity of attention required for productivity, presence, and flow state
  • companies adopting a Standards of Communication to make clear what needs to be communicated when and how
  • using desktop or laptop instead of phone to save time
  • adding a second monitor to increase productivity
  • Rob’s offer for a free 30 minute technology Mindfulness consultation via emailing rob [at] humansfirst.us

Standards of Communication template mentioned on podcast:



https://www.tiktok [dot] com/@humans_first

Audio: Putting Humans First With Rob Krecak

Experimental and unedited transcript (attempt) of this podcast via assemblyai.com:

“Wholeness welcome. This is Josh Dippold of Integrating Presence.com. Today I have with me Rob you just told me how to pronounce it. Rob Creak. Right, Rich? It doesn’t look like it sounds at all. All right, Rob, how’s it going today? It’s going great, Josh. Thanks so much for having me. I’m grateful to be able to chat with you today. Cool. So what I usually do, especially for folks I haven’t talked too much before, is just toss it back to them and say, who is Rob? What does he do? And what does he do? What kind of work do you do? Who are you and what kind of work do you do? Yes. Well, I’m a Midwestern boy who was born and raised in Milwaukee, and my parents have lived in the same house almost their whole lives. My mom has only been in two houses her entire life her childhood home and then the home with my dad in Big Ben, Wisconsin. But, yeah, I really enjoy spending time with my wife Nikki, working out, traveling, self improvement, kind of a productivity junkie. And one of the things that I’m really excited about is my new company, Humans First. We’re a consultancy that helps people with technology mindfulness. And I define technology mindfulness as using technology in a way that serves you well, you and your life well. And our mission at Humans First is to help humanity understand how technology impacts mental health, relationships, and productivity at work. So I guess maybe the question, why the name? Why would you pick that name? And then I guess, what gives? Kind of not too crazy about the word authority, but what is the expertise for such a thing, too? Right? Yeah, those are great questions, Josh. The reason that I named the company Humans First is this. And this is a statistic from before Covet. So we can’t say, Oh, we can blame COVID on this. Americans are now spending an average average of 12 hours and 21 minutes a day in front of screens and media. Put it to you another way, we are now spending three quarters of our waking lives in front of technology. And so, unfortunately, in our world today, technology is first. We are putting technology first, as evidenced by how we’re spending our time. And if you think about how did humans exist 50,000 years ago when we were cavemen and cavewomen, well, we did three main things. We hunted, we gathered, and we socialize. That’s what life consisted of. And so we’ve basically done the reverse of what we used to do. When we were caveman and came in, about 90% of the time we spent was with other people. And now it’s almost completely the opposite because we’re spending almost all our time with technology. And so Humans First is a reminder to everyone that we get the most meaning and joy and purpose in our lives by connecting with other people, not with technology. Well, right on. So looking through your website briefly, it talks about how to help folks achieve a four day work week. And this reminded me of Tim Ferriss’s book. I’m guessing maybe if I had to take a while to guess, maybe Ripping Off, Not Ripping Off. Of course it’s a different title, this Four Hour Work Weekend. That was a radical book, I guess mid 2000s. So with that and then I guess, is there comparisons to this book too? And then I guess how do you help people achieve that or help companies achieve that too and then after that, I do want to go into kind of topics more geared towards what I write about. On integratingpresence.com too. Yeah, of course, there’s definitely a parallel to The Four Hour Work Week, tim Ferriss’s book, which is one of my absolute favorites. And I think when that book came out, a lot of people recognize that that was obviously very incredibly catchy title, but also more of an aspirational thought, right? But this Four Day Work Week, this is a very real thing that hundreds and hundreds of companies around the world are now doing. And I want to help people be at the forefront of this. What’s interesting is only or less than 1% of US. Companies are offering a four day workweek as one of their main perks. And so if a company can adopt a four day work week, they instantly and their employees instantly become part of the 1% with this regard. And this is one of the most incredible employee benefits that you can offer anyone. And so you might ask yourself, well, how is that even possible? Because a lot of people say, it’s me. Like, well, how could I do five days of work in four days when I barely can get through five days of work right now? And there’s a couple of main categories of, well, just say buckets of time where people don’t realize that they’re spending an insane amount of time. The first one, not surprisingly, is meetings, right? We have so many meetings, and sometimes they’re necessary, sometimes they’re not. But what really sucks up even more time than meetings is email. So the average white collar worker sends and receives 126 emails per day. And if they’re just taking two minutes per email, that right there is literally half of their work day. So if you’re spending 4 hours per day in email, and let’s just say an average of 2 hours per day in meetings, that leaves you with just 2 hours per day to do your actual job or whatever the activities are related to your actual job. And that’s not very realistic for most people. And so the way that I help people with technology mindfulness, is to eliminate distractions and help them focus on what matters most. And what a lot of people don’t realize is there’s so many times that you just spend a few seconds here or a couple of minutes there doing something. But those seconds and minutes added up over a week are incredible. I had one client, she did my initial client intake survey and then she worked with me for just 2 hours. So I just coached her for 2 hours. Now, to be fair, she was super open minded. She implemented every single thing that I suggested to her. We measured her screen time on her phone a couple of weeks later and I was able to save her over 40 hours of screen time per week. So I saved her literally at work weeks time a week, every single week. Well, by implementing some of these strategies. Well, cool. I guess what I’m interested too, and what inspired you to do this? Is it from personal experience? Is it just kind of seeing the kind of logic behind it? Was there burnout involved, I guess, what got you into this line of work? Yeah, so I would say that much like Tim Ferriss, I like to be my own experiment. And so this system and these techniques are results of hundreds and hundreds of experiments I’ve ran on myself over the past decade to try to figure out what works. And I have ADHD, so I am much more inclined to be distracted and not focused compared to the average person, not surprisingly. And so I have found that I need to structure my day and structure my technology use in a way that is conducive to helping me be productive. Otherwise I just didn’t get distracted by a shiny object and it’s 3 hours later and I haven’t accomplished anything that I really needed to do. And I should also say at other points in my life, I have also been addicted to video games when I was in high school and then I was also addicted to Facebook and email. And so I have personally seen the negative effects of technology in my own life and I’ve learned from that. And I want to share that information with other people in the hopes that they would not be addicted or have the negative repercussions like I did in my life and that I could save them from doing that. Wild. Thanks for sharing that. Yes, that’s one of the best ways to know is from personal experience, obviously, right. You hear these stories how these social media networks are designed for addiction basically to keep as many eyeballs. I mean, it seems so obvious now, but when they first came out, right, and then this all became public and whatnot it’s pretty wild. Yes. I’ve been saying for four or five years that social media was causing depression and anxiety and no one believed me. And now that there’s proof, there’s very strong proof that that’s happening now all of a sudden I look like I know what I’m talking about, but I just wish people would have listened to me about five years ago. But what I always say is I truly believe that social media is the cigarette of the 21st century. I believe in ten years from now we’re going to look at this and saying, what on earth were we thinking giving a twelve year old with a cell phone and social media accounts and just telling them, hey, we just want you to use this to keep in contact with your friends, but don’t become addicted. Like, that’s totally crazy. I think in ten years we’re going to think that that’s true, but right now, people are just kind of waking up to this thought. It is, yes, for sure. But to even go further, since you saw this coming a while back, I guess it makes sense, or I’m curious now, what is the next thing? What is the next thing where we can derail humans? I mean, what comes to mind for me is artificial intelligence. And of course, I was going to ask your take on that anyway and how that if you use that in your work, in your company as well. Yeah, so literally right before this call, I was just reading a study about it was a longer duration study of people using a VR virtual reality. And so this was a study of people using VR for an entire week, like replicating a work week. And it was an 18 person study, so it wasn’t that large. But two people dropped out of the study immediately, and every single other person in the study said that they came out of it worse in some way or many ways compared to before. Like they had headaches, they had nausea, they had increased anxiety, they were exhausted. So basically it’s ironic, right, that Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who has kind of destroyed society with Facebook, is now trying to push this new BS on us. And I truly believe that it is not good for humanity, for us all to exist in meterverse. And of course that’s what he wants because that’s the next phase of his company and the value of it just got cut in half because people realize that Facebook isn’t what it used to be. And so my, I guess, caution to people is, think about this, right? Let’s just pretend that you’re walking through a buffet line and you see your favorite dessert. And the first time you go through the buffet line, you resist taking your favorite dessert, but you go through again. And the second time you’re like, man, that dessert, that chocolate chip cookie looks really good, but I’m not going to eat it, right? Well, by the third time you go to the buffet line, you’re like, you know, okay, I’m just going to have one chocolate chip cookie because of all the other things there, you like the chocolate chip cookie the most. That happens to us, all right? And it happens to me, too. But now think about that. If you have an alternative life online in the virtual world, that’s better than your own. Don’t you think that you’re going to want to go to that life at some point? Especially when your own life isn’t going the way you want in real life? That to me is really scary to think about. So we’re just creating this world where we can essentially be or do whoever exists however we want. And yes, there are many positives to that, but when that’s competing with your identity in the real world, I think there’s an entirely separate list of considerations that we haven’t even contemplated that are not good for humanity that we need to now start thinking about. Because the reason that I got addicted to video games when I was in high school is because I had extremely bad acne and I was playing this role playing game that allowed me to have a different identity. And so I again saw when it was a very primitive game, how being in that world could help me feel better about myself. How is that going to happen when we can look like anyone else and be as rich as however we want? I mean, it’s a totally different world. It really is wild. I love the metaphor too. And to take it another step and maybe to riff on a pun, the meta version of that would be like, well, even if this doesn’t stick, they’ve been doing different iterations of this. I remember Second Life, I was just on there briefly, just trying to check out what that was and stuff. Never spent much time, but just because it was such a hype and I was in a kind of a tech job too, so I had to kind of keep up on what was going on. And I don’t know what game you’re referring to, but I’m trying to think of some other ones. And so it will keep evolving whether it’s successful or not. Unless whoever’s behind it really doesn’t have any incentive to do this. But I don’t know if I see it. The attempts are this type of thing slowing down anytime soon anyway. So the way you approach it the way I approach it’s different than trying to go up against huge corporations or something like that, this makes the most sense to address it this way. Right? Well, I think what I’m trying to do is I’m not trying to tell people what to do. What I’m trying to do is help generate awareness and some education about what’s happening to them. And sometimes what you’re even doing to yourself. A common example that I always give people is checking email, right? Like I used to be so addicted to my email. I had a BlackBerry when BlackBerry first came out for my job. And what people don’t realize is when you check your email, it’s very highly correlated with greater stress and anxiety because it’s overwhelming a lot of the time. And so what happens is let’s just say, for instance, let’s give a hypothetical example. Let’s say it’s 09:00 P.m. And you’re getting ready to go to bed and you’re like, oh, I’m just going to check my email one time, right? You check your email and you see this email from your boss and it pisses you off. So now you’re like, okay, now I want to respond. I want to say all these things. Now you’re like, amped up, your sympathetic nervous system is activated. Well, not only are you going to feel helpless because you’re probably not going to respond to that email at 09:00 at night, but the other thing is, because your nervous system is so amped up, you’re definitely not going to bed at the same time as you would have if you didn’t check that email. And your sleep quality is probably going to be way worse even though you don’t realize it because you’re sleeping, right? And so that one simple thing. Just checking your email before you go to bed could absolutely destroy your sleep for the night. And then what does that do? That destroys your entire next day. Because if your sleep isn’t on point, then everything else in your life could be worse because lack of sleep is associated with tons of different medical conditions, especially cancers and other things. And so it’s not surprising to think that if your technology use is interfering with your sleep, it literally is affecting every single part of your life. These are just the things, like a simple thing that people aren’t even registering, but it’s happening. It’s happening to billions of people. This is a huge one because I remember when I used to work in online marketing, I had my email account linked to my work email account to my phone at home, and it was like it had access to it at any time of day. And I can’t remember now if we were required to or not. It didn’t matter. I still had it on there, right? Well, it did matter, but I’ve grown so much and realized so much since then. But absolutely, this is the work life balance and I’d like you to talk about that in a little bit too here, even more, if you’d like. I’ll just mention real briefly a few things that I’ve done. Now, I don’t have that kind of pressure worth working in the corporate world anymore, but what I’ve done is just simple things. I just don’t like my cell phone on all the time. So I work from a laptop, and when I’m in my apartment, I have a wired connection still. It’s an old school laptop, so it still has yeah, so I don’t get the EMF stuff. The WiFi is off, my cell phone is forwarded to my Google voice number, or I actually have a landline. Most people like, what’s that? But it will either forward to the landline or the Google Voice on the computer. So I don’t have to have any kind of wireless on because there’s so much wireless pollution that people don’t need, they’re not using as much. My cell phone and all electronics go off when I sleep. I know a lot of people can’t do that because they have family, they have commitments and stuff. But I think the first step to that is just putting your cell phone outside your bedroom so you can still hear it if it rings, you’ll still be able to get it. But just how many people go to bed holding their cell phone and looking through that, too? There’s a blue light. Well, now, actually, the computer companies have that built into a lot of devices to get rid of the blue light at night. I think it’s called Flux. This plug in I have for Mac. And yes, as the sunset goes, it changes gradually, so if you’re on it longer, the blue light that tricks the mind into thinking it’s daylight will go down and down, so that doesn’t cut into the easily falling asleep. I’ve got a few other things, but those seem like the more common ones people can relate to, right? Yeah, I like to get your take on any of those or any other just technology hacks in general like that, and then the work life balance, too. Yeah. Well, I applaud you, Josh, for being mindful of these things and using these interventions, because I think a lot of people, they’re not mindful of how this technology is affecting them. And how could they be, I guess, if they didn’t know the stuff like we’re talking about. But it seems like you’ve done a lot of research on your own, and I really like that. A couple of things I would say about the first of all, like email on your phone, even within this technology mindfulness community, right. Some people still just blows their mind when I tell them this. But I haven’t had my email on my phone at all for years in any way. Not even my personal email. No email at all. No email app, no Gmail, no mail app, nothing. And I almost play this it’s sort of a dangerous game in some ways because I almost play this game where I kind of go and see how long I can go without checking my email. And honestly, I went like six or seven business days and not on vacation. I was just like I just didn’t check it because I didn’t want to check it. And honestly, nothing bad happened. I’m not saying that there was not a single negative repercussion, because, like, yes, occasionally something happens, but honestly, what we think is a big emergency, it just isn’t. Like 99% of that stuff. It isn’t an emergency, but we just think it is because everything is trying to notify us. Think about this, though. This is why this happens. The business model of most, not all, but most tech companies is to get as much of your time and attention as possible. Human time and attention is now more valuable than oil. It is the most valuable resource on the planet. So think about it. Technology is infinitely scalable, and it costs the tech company $0 to pop up a notification on your phone. Zero. It doesn’t cost them anything. And so every single company has an incentive to notify you as much as possible or get you on their platform or app or whatever as much as possible, because then you spend more time on there, they make more money, and the company becomes more valuable. And so if you’re not directly paying for a product like Facebook, you are the product. You are the product when you use Facebook, it’s not the advertisers, you are the product. And so I think if people start to realize that and they’re like, oh my God, there’s so many apps that I have where I don’t pay anything, it’s a premium, or I use this website, it’s free. Nothing is free. The company has to make money in some way. And so I think just by having that awareness of what the business models of these companies are, and that your time and attention is their number one asset, that they’re all trying to monopolize, that all of a sudden makes it much clearer how they’re trying to get your time and attention and how you can resist that. Or maybe consider stopping using some of the websites or apps or whatever, depending on if it’s serving you or not. Sure. Somehow I got out of not being on Facebook. I still have Twitter and Instagram. I mentioned my Instagram habits before, but I won’t go into that now. The notifications? Yeah, it’s like, how many notifications can we turn off on our phones? For me, I think I only have on the Messages apps. Like, if I get a text message, I think that’s our phone call, a missed phone call. There might be a couple of others, but most everything else is off. Yeah, so what’s interesting, Josh, is 85% of people who have a cell phone have not adjusted their notifications at all, which to me is mind blowing, right? And so the average person and again, it depends on how you measure it and all these things, but the average person gets about 64 notifications per day, which is one notification every 15 waking minutes. And so if you think about that, we’re just constantly being dinged and buzzed and all that stuff. So my personal strategy, and obviously each person can decide what they want to do, but my personal strategy has been to eliminate all notifications except for calls, texts, and then travel apps. Like, for instance, my Southwest app in case my flight is delayed, which is important and timely, but otherwise, I have every single other notification turned off, all of them. And that has saved us so much time and interaction with my phone and just makes me able to be so much more present. It’s incredible. And it’s really simple to do. It literally takes five minutes. You just go into settings and the notification menu and then you just go down and just shut them all off. It really isn’t even hard. And folks that have a meditation practice, you can feel into this. Just pay attention to what everybody starts. You get a ding ding. Then there’s these phenomenal like phantom phone. I mean, I’ve started to go, it’s been years now that I’ve done this. Go outside the house without my cell phone and go on walks without it. At first it’s just like you feel naked or something’s really missing how these things have really kind of bonded to us and us to them. But eventually it just energetic wise, it just feels so much more freeing. Unless it’s not like somebody poking you on the shoulder with these notifications. Yeah. Well, Josh, you said something interesting and I wanted to bring I think your listeners might be interested to hear this. So you said you mentioned meditation. I’m assuming you’re a pretty big meditator. Yes, daily since 2012. That’s super impressive. And I meditate not that long and not as often as you, most likely, but I do meditate. And what’s interesting is if you look at meditation as a whole and why it’s useful to humanity, one of the main reasons, not the only reason, but one of the main reasons is it pulls us into the present and allows us to be here and now and not worry about the future and not ruminate about the past. It looks like you’re agreeing with that. Big time. Okay, if you believe that that’s true, which I would do, and I think that the science is there to believe that, to hold that. Then if you think about what technology is, it’s like the antimeditation. Every single time you get a notification, it pulls you out of the presence. It pulls you into this other world that you’re now worried about, you’re now anxious about. And so if you think about all this technology use as the antimeditation, it kind of makes sense why we all feel like a lot of people feel like crap all the time. We’re constantly pulling ourselves out of the present with our technology use and it’s like, again, like the opposite of meditation all the time. Oh, yeah, big time. And mindfulness of the body. The body can only be in the present moment. Our body can’t be in the future of the past. Right. But everything else in our mind, well, I mean, we live in a virtual world in our mind about what you were talking about. Take a step further though, with the perception of all the thought and interaction of the future, all the thoughts of the past, they’re actually only just thoughts in the mind. But it seems so real. It seems like so much in the future, so much in the past, but every time we think about the future, it’s a thought right here and now. Every time we think about the past, it’s a thought right here and now. But it takes awareness of that too, right? So I wanted to pick up on a couple of other things of what you said before about the email and work. I think I was like a project manager, or at least the office manager, and I was trying to get people on base camp, I think when it first came on project management software instead of just email, because that would at least cut down on some of the emails. Now, I don’t know if you recommend project management software or whatever, but before, I don’t even know if they’re still doing that or whatever, but the amount of it was just email everything. And I guess kids, younger generations today, I don’t know if they do as much email as that. And I also want to say about my own personal email, that’s right. That is one decent thing about it is it doesn’t require an immediate response from somebody, right. Where you just give it unless I get some things will be but it’s just kind of given, it’s not as immediate as a phone call or a text. Right. And so, just real briefly, my mom, she’s like every time I don’t answer her text right away, she catastrophizes. Not every time, but sometimes I have to keep a reminder. In the 90s, we didn’t even have cell phones. It was a huge thing when people got pagers and wouldn’t have to drive around my small town to try to find people. So car culture is all gone now because that’s a thing of the past, you know, where everybody’s at all the time, you just have to call their cell phone. Right, but I mean, people before that, you would write a letter, it takes weeks to get overseas and stuff like this, but okay, there’s plenty there to pick up on. Yeah, well, I think you hit on something that I see very frequently. Companies is the root cause of a lot of the problems. Not all, but a huge number of problems is that there are no written standards of communication that have been disseminated to employees. So let me just give you this as an example. Obviously each company, there’s different ways to execute this, but a written standard of communication would look something like this. And obviously it would be written, not spoken. At this company, we expect that all communication is answered between 09:00 A.m. And 05:00 P.m. Local time. We expect that business emails will be responded to within 24 business hours. We expect that Slack messages will be responded to within three business hours. And anything requiring more than 3 hours of urgency would be necessitated or facilitated by a Slack phone call or a voice call on a cell phone. And so imagine if, for instance, your company, you and the management of your company agreed on all those standards and then you disseminated them both to your employees and to your clients. Well, what does that do? That completely changes how everyone does their job. So right now, today in America, the average person checks their email and slack once every six minutes. Every six minutes. We are interrupting ourselves continuously throughout the day because we don’t know, because there are no written standards of communication like I just described. So if you now have these written standards and they’re disseminated to everyone, and of course they are abided by and endorsed by management, which is very important, then all of a sudden now, instead of checking my email and slack once every six minutes, I could check it once every couple of hours. So maybe three or four times a day and still be well within those communication tolerances that I just outlined, but not have to be glued to my slack and email. Which means that then I can set aside some dedicated time to focus on the work that I really need to do and get done some high quality work and be productive. That was the biggest impetus for me, trying to get off email and doing these types of things. I know slack is the big thing now, but it was those interruptions. I could not get anything done. Constant interruption. We all know now that the multitasking thing is kind of a joke, it’s kind of a myth, right. Because we can only really focus on one thing at a time. And so every time that workflow, that progress, that progression gets interrupted. Then it takes time to kind of go back to where you were, review where you’re at and keep going, depending on the complexity of the project. Right. Or whatever task you were doing. Yes, hugely. Totally. So totally resonate with everything you just said. Josh, only 2% of people can successfully multitask. And even those people, if they can do it, it’s very mentally taxing for them and they can’t do it for a full workday. Right. But here’s another interesting thing, which, again, people don’t realize, is let’s pretend you’re having an amazing day at work. You’re just crushing it, like everything is going your way, you’re getting a ton of stuff done, like everything is just moving amazingly well. That state is called flow. And so when you’re in flow at your job, you are up to 500% more productive than when you’re not in flow. And so what that means is you can accomplish more in 2 hours in flow than you could in an entire day when you’re not in flow. Well, here’s the other thing that people don’t realize, is when you’re in flow and you get interrupted, it takes you 26 minutes to get back into flow. And so if you’re checking your email once every six minutes and then you’re getting a smartphone notification once every 15 minutes, it’s pretty obvious that the average person is never, ever in flow, which means that they’re never doing as high quality work as they could and they’re never being nearly as productive as they could. And so by doing counter intuitively, by doing less and eliminating distractions and focusing, you can actually get way more done and way higher quality work done in a shorter amount of time than if you’re trying to do all these different things and check your email and all that’s. A lot less stressful too. And the written communications policy is brilliant. I don’t know how I haven’t heard of that before now, but I mean, it just lays stuff out so clearly. And everybody’s on the right, there’s no squabbling anymore of what’s allowable what shouldn’t be done there. It is clear as day. Right. Well, one thing I’d be happy to do for you and the listeners, Josh, is I can provide a template that is free for you and anybody to use. I actually sent this to a lot of people and it seems like it’s been very well received, so I’m happy to send that to you. And if you want to put it in, like, the show notes or something, please do. Yes. For people to download. And so I guess I just have a couple more questions here. For me, well, it was just kind of fun to say, well, what do you suggest people do with the extra time to help them free up? Right. And then also for me, the big thing now, if I’m not interacting with technology, like, this is no big deal for me, but when I’m actually on the keyboard moving the mouse and doing tasks with blogging and podcasting and editing and stuff, that is my big issue still. Because what tends to happen is I get so involved in the work that my body will tense up and I’ll realize that and sometimes I will just ignore that and keep going. The bodies will still keep clench and tense around that. And I know that I should take breaks, just even a breath break, even just for a moment, and relax. But for whatever reason, it’s just like this thing is like sucking me in. There’s just so much draw to it or whatever. Yeah. So, Josh, if I told you how long it took me to realize this and how many dozens of books I had to read, you would not believe me. But I can explain to you what’s happening, and not only to you, but to the 4.2 billion people connected to the Internet. So here’s what happens whenever we interact with technology, and obviously it changes depending on how we interact with it and what our tolerance levels are and things like that. But what’s generally happening is when we interact with technology, it activates our sympathetic nervous system. This is the fight or flight system that keeps us alive. And so, in caveman days, if we were attacked by a saber tooth tiger, the fight or flight system gets activated because we either need to fight the tiger or run away, right? And that keeps us alive as a species. And so it is a good thing in very small or limited time duration doses. In very short durations, it’s good. But what happens is when you get that notification on your smartphone, when you check your email, when you think about all your million projects that you have to do, and look at your project management software and say, oh my God, there’s 25 tasks that I haven’t done, this sympathetic nervous system is activated, and we get amped up, and this all happens subconsciously. Most 99% of this is not in your consciousness, not in your awareness, I should say. It’s not in your consciousness. It’s not in your awareness. The really unfortunate part is when this sympathetic nervous system is activated, it takes over 30 minutes to down regulate. Well, obviously, if we’re checking our email once every six minutes, we’re getting a smartphone notification once every 15 minutes. We’re doing all these other things in technology pretty much continuously. And for a lot of people, it’s literally from the moment they get up until the moment they go to bed. Your central nervous system is never having a chance to fully recover and down regulate. And this is why most of the people in America feel incredibly stressed out and why anxiety and depression are at an all time high. I believe that this is the root cause of not all of it, of course, but a lot of it that people aren’t even aware of happening to them. I truly believe this. I believe this with every cell in my body. My hope is that when people have extra time, when I can help them get a workday back, or sometimes way more, that they spend that time with friends and family and people that they care about. Because what’s happening is if you think about what technology is doing, if I could summarize my last four years of work and reading over 100 books, it would be this simultaneous technology is simultaneously increasing the day to day and sometimes minute to minute stress we experience, while at the same time degrading our ability to deal with that stress, because our social support systems, communities and relationships are being deteriorated by technology big time. So are there any kind of general usage that you have? I mean, you’ve mentioned a bunch of things, too, but some things that apply to most people. It just baffles my mind that just any kind of regular use would trigger our flight or flight, but it seems to be the case. I know there are some things that contribute way more to it, but just some basic things that apply to everybody for usage. Well, again, disabling those notifications both on your computer, on your desktop and your phone is huge. Another thing, though, is just as a very general rule of thumb. Anything that you’re doing on your phone, you could do in half the time on a desktop computer. So, for instance, if you do a ton of email from your phone and you spend, let’s say, 8 hours a week doing that, you could literally save half a work day if you just answered all your email from your computer, like I do now. What you have to realize is when you use your cell phone, you’re trading convenience for productivity. You’re saying, I value the convenience more than the productivity, and sometimes that’s appropriate. But for most of the time, we could be doing almost everything on our phone on our computer. We just are choosing not to because we’re lazy or because we are not aware. And so that’s me. I think it’s the biggest thing that any person can do is try to offload as much of the tasks as possible from your phone and do them instead on the computer because that is way more helpful. The other thing I know we are almost out of time here, but the other thing is adding a second monitor to your work setup increases productivity by 25%. You can get a second monitor for $200 and it will literally pay itself back in productivity in one week. Less than a week. Yes. It’s huge. We had those at our old workplace. And now I’ve got the phone thing, like I mentioned earlier. So Rob, what would you like to leave folks with and how can they get a hold of you and anything else you’d like to plug? Yeah, well, thank you, Josh, so much for the opportunity to chat with you. You guys can find out more about my company, HumansFirst at HumansFirst us. And then one other thing that I just wanted to offer all the listeners is I’m happy to give you a free 30 minutes technology Mindfulness consultation call with me. All you need to do to redeem that is just email me. My email address is robrob at HumansFirst us and just mentioned that you heard me on this podcast and I’ll set up a call with you. Thanks so much, Rob, and all the listeners out there. I wish you all an ideal and optimal energy and consciousness for the rest of yours your day.”

Published by josh dippold


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: