The world’s best networking lesson from House of Commons speaker John Bercow

(1) Your personal tech audit

What do you spend most of your time looking at on your mobile device? According to Ofcom’s research into mobile device overuse, the majority of adults couldn’t be seen without their smartphone, and were quick to admit the damaging impact social media can have on social situations.

At 55 per cent, over half of people think it’s unacceptable to pick up your phone alongside your knife and fork, but for 49 per cent of younger people, checking social media messages before breakfast was deemed “crucial.

We know it’s a problem but we still continue to perpetrate it. Start by identifying precisely where your personal overuse lies.

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(2) Commit to your reduction

The worst thing that could happen is your smartphone battery lasts longer than expected. It could even improve your work focus. On a more serious note, writer Zadie Smith openly acknowledges Freedom, the programme that lets you turn off Wi-Fi, for allowing her to finish her last book.

Stories are all too commonplace of people retreating to remote Norfolk shepherds’ huts to gain concentration and finish work. Some can’t cope and go in search of an unlocked WiFi network.

We’re addicted. Set some boundaries and stick to them, like committing to looking no more than once every hour. Remove badges and notifications from WhatsApp. If anything’s genuinely urgent, count on someone phoning you to tell you. No one can dictate exactly what your limit should be, but aim for a reduction that you can stick to.

Read the final two steps on the next page for the remaining details on how you can regain the art of connecting meaningfully.


Image: Shutterstock

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