The truck in the next lane weaved toward me. I looked over. He was texting.

The car ahead of me at the now-green traffic light didn’t move. “She’s on Facebook on her phone,” my wife said.

The SUV zoomed ahead of me, and then slowed down. And again further down the interstate. Each time, the driver was on a call when I went around, and off the phone when he sped up.

And the thought popped in my head, “If these people are ‘always on’ when driving, how are they at work?”

Numerous studies indicate that our work productivity diminishes by at least 25% when we bounce from one task to another, allowing ourselves to be chronically interrupted. Technology breeds an expectation of instant responsiveness that we human beings just aren’t wired for.

Want to increase your work productivity and decrease your paralyzing overwhelm?

Slow down in these three ways to positively speed up your productivity:

Turn off email
Automatic email updates are an intrusion on your thought process.

Be honest now: you read email while on a phone call, right?

Think your caller doesn’t know

Think again. You’re failing to be 100% present. Too many “Umm’s” give you away.

Turn off the automatic email updates on your office computer, tablet, and phone. Whatever it is will wait until your prescribed time to download and answer email.

“Do not disturb”
Your desk and mobile phones have a “do not disturb” button, or “airplane mode” that blocks calls. Use them as you do problem-solving or creating. It takes your brain a little time to focus on a situation, consider a wide range of options, and discover the best one. Every time the phone rings, your mind chases the call whether you answer or not.

Give yourself a designated time to answer voice mail. Prioritize the calls and respond appropriately.

Limit social media
I’m convinced half of the bazillion Facebookers wake up posting a status while in the bathroom while the other half post with one eye closed, going to sleep. Talk about overwhelm…major corporations lose tons of bandwidth to social media daily.

Yes, have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and whatever else you want. Focus on content creation and hire someone else to manage it using incredible tools like TweetDeck or Hootsuite. Choose a specific time to be available online. Announce it and go live.

Otherwise, leave it alone.

Now what?
Slow down to speed up.

You’ve done it. You’ve increased your work productivity 25%.

Now what?

Positively become even more productive:

Walk outdoors in a green space. Sit on a park bench and listen to the birds. They’re not angry, and happy to sing for free.

Eat lunch with your spouse, your child in preschool, or a friend from Rotary Club or church. Just because…

Hand-write a thank you note to a teacher or college professor who changed your life. He probably works for next-to-nothing or she’s wondering if anybody noticed her sacrifices…especially at this time of year.

And remember—what goes around, comes around.

Slow down to speed up.

Productively Work Positive in this negative world.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 Amazon best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), coach, and speaker who help professionals discover success in the silver lining of their business and achieve their dreams. Discover more at www.ListentoLife.org/speaking.