Are you one of the 25 to 50 per cent of people reporting feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work? Do you find you are working for more hours than the dollars you earn and end up like a circus performer trying to keep all your spinning plates in the air at once?

Well you're not alone. In the 2012 business and life it seems that the spinning has sped up and for many people the finish lines, downtimes, breathers and boundaries have vanished. Technology has allowed us to shop from home for everything from clothes to vegetables and it has also blurred the separation and boundaries, the stopping points we once lamented but needed in order to restore and rejuvinate.

Today, no matter where you go, your work demands follow, on your blackberry, iPhone or other device the constant chirping of messages, tweets, emails and reminders is the new background music of cafes, restaurants and the office or jobsite. It is all encompassing. And yet it is a love, hate relationship. So how addicted are you?

Answer yes or no:

  • If you hear a blip or bleep on your device do you find it impossible to resist the urge to look?
  • Do you answer email during conference calls with the sound on mute?
  • Do you bring your laptop to meetings and then pretend you're taking notes while you tweet and message your friends?
  • Do you eat lunch at your desk?
  • Do you make calls while you're driving, and even send the occasional text? (You've got your good eye on the road right?)

More than three yeses and you may want to reconsider your work habits.

Technology today takes after nature. Like a mosquito bite, small and deadly and a little irritating at first, once we scratch it and reply the wound gets worse as reply after reply comes back to bite us. The biggest cost — assuming you don't crash your car while texting (statistics show it's taken over from applying lipstick crashes) - is to your personal productivity. What it shows us is that despite all the hype of the 90's to become a 'multi-tasker' that in reality when you're only partially engaged in many things at once but rarely fully 100 per cent engaged in any, your results are lessened, watered down. Why? Because when you move your attention from your main task to doing multiple things at once you're increasing the time it takes to finish that single task by an average of 25 per cent.

Even worse than that, because you're always doing 'something', you're slowly wearing away at your body and minds resources so much that every day you wind up needing to tap into the remaining resevoir of energy you have (ie: adrenaline), that was meant to be used in times of urgent need such as hunting lions, so your body goes into overdrive 24/7.

I know this from my own experience. Since implementing the use of a digital time around 18 months ago, I get two to three times as much work and planning done when I focus without interruption for a designated period of time and then take a real break, away from my desk. I have found chunking my time into Bite Sized sessions the very best way to fuel higher productivity and more innovative thinking - and in your business or company or team you can do the same.

The key is to not only eat that frog but also to KISS it. As Brian Tracy suggests you should eat a frog daily. That is, do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time. If possible, work in a private space during this period. Finally, resist every impulse to get distracted by bright shiny objects. The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you'll be.

And in addition to eating the frog I have found that if you KISS the frog first - ie: apply a Keep It Simple Strategy, you can experience great productivity and satisfaction. One way you can apply KISS is to identify the top four tasks you need to complete each day and then schedule your time to ensure you complete those four tasks (the frog task, plus three other important, strategic tasks) each and every day. By the end of the week you've checked off 20 high priority ticket items and come further than you may have done in the past 6 weeks.

Another tip is to schedule your typical one hour meetings for only 45 minutes, that way participants are more likely to stay focused, be less concerned about going deviceless for the entire meeting and have time afterwards to regroup and recover before the next task or meeting.

Stop succumbing to the urgency factor brought about by technology - business is still 100% about people so work with your humanness to get the job done, stop working like a robot. When you're engaged at work, fully engage, for defined periods of time and then take a moment or two to genuinely renew. Your results will speak volumes.

Author's Bio: 

Coach, author, speaker, teacher and entrepreneur, Heidi Alexandra Pollard, The Communicators’ Coach publishes Value Ad, a free monthly ezine for smart, savvy professionals who want more prosperity, passion and purpose in life. If you’re ready to jump start your success, make more money and have more fun doing it then get your FREE tips now at © Leading Value 2012.