Digital technologies have become integral to all aspects of our lives.
The internet, mobile phones, tablets, and devices have taken over the world and with them have been the power of e-books, apps, and other forms of digital media.
It is probably no surprise that e-books and other digital media are now one of the top three most downloaded apps on a smartphone according to a study conducted by Similar Web.
Given the rise of e-books in the past decade, it is safe to say that e-reading is no longer a niche activity.
Most people who regularly read for pleasure are using e-readers as their preferred method of consuming books.
However, most readers are not always reading for pleasure. Often, they are reading to take notes, read online, complete a task, etc.
All these activities can impact a person’s overall ability to achieve their goals.
The challenge is to figure out which tasks count as time well spent and to decide which activities are more distracting than valuable.
Answering this challenge
Several resources can help you determine what activities are conducive to your productivity and what are the ones that will keep you distracted from the goals you want to achieve.
When it comes to reading, there are two essential elements to consider.
First, if the reading activity is allowing you to obtain a better understanding of a topic or to be educated or entertained.
Second, if you are reading for entertainment.
So, in other words, reading a book by an acclaimed author, or reading a novel that has an engaging storyline, or watching a movie with some juicy twist, will provide a better return on your time than anything else.
How does your device impact your productivity?
Every single element you use to create or experience digital media is important.
For example, if you use your Kindle to read a book, your device may be a distraction that deters you from using your digital resources in productive ways.
If you are using your tablet or laptop to surf the web or email, it is easy for your device to become your default mode of use, and you are much more likely to find yourself wasting a lot of time on non-productive tasks.
So, it is important to consider how each of your digital activities impacts your productivity. The following are some questions to consider as you establish how you want to use your time:
- Is the task that I am performing helpful to me?
- Are the benefits to be worth the effort to perform the task?
- Is there another way to complete the task or complete the task more efficiently?
- What other options do I have for performing the task?
- How can I complete the task in a less distracting manner?
Every digital activity is useful for something and all of these factors will impact the quality of the task you perform, and therefore the quality of the results you achieve.
In this way, the activities you engage in have the power to determine your productivity levels.
And, while it is difficult to control the types of media you use to create or experience digital media, you can control the process you use to complete each task.
In other words, you can choose the materials you need to create or experience digital media.
The choice is up to you
What you do with your time is up to you.
Whether you are reading for pleasure or productive purposes, the choice is up to you.
Remember that you are in control of what you do, how you do it, and what you do with the information you consume.
If you try to convince yourself that you must read a book to be productive, your productivity will suffer.
The rewards of time well spent
Whether you are reading for pleasure or productivity purposes, the act of reading is a valuable activity.
It can be an enriching experience that provides you with a better understanding of a subject, help you understand new technologies, provides a diversion from your daily activities, provides you with material that will engage your mind and affect your mood, or is the basis of a new hobby or activity that will improve your overall quality of life, reading is an activity that can provide you with many great rewards.
While you can’t control the types of media you use, you can make choices regarding the activities you engage in.
You can choose to create digital content, whether in the form of books, articles, or presentations, that is entertaining and/or educational, can be performed on your schedule, and provides you with a greater understanding of the topic you are researching or engaging with.
You can also choose to engage with other people who have different opinions on the same subject matter through forums, discussions, or social media, all of which may provide you with a greater understanding of the subject, help you avoid unintended errors, or expand your knowledge base in general.
So, the choice is up to you. What media do you engage in?
How you use your time is up to you. What activities do you engage in?
How you read, learn, and create is up to you.
It is your choice.