The Productivity Paradox

Daniel Gulati posts some interesting research regarding the impact of smartphones over on the HBR Blog.

He finds that the more we rely on smartphones – and other “productivity” apps and devices – the greater a psychological toll we exact from ourselves.  In particular, we suffer in three ways:

  1. We don’t remember anything anymore
  2. We waste time preserving optionality
  3. We get stuck in the infinite notification loop.

Since the days of email and IM pop-ups (and probably well before) people have remarked on how some of the features designed to make us more productive serve to fragment our attention, erode our memories and dissipate our ability for deep-thought.

I think Nicholas Bate and Nicholas Carr would agree with Gulati’s findings.


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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