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Working in the digital media industry has given me access to cutting-edge technology. With all of the apps, social networking platforms and smart devices available to me, you would think that efficiency would be a no-brainer.

However, recent studies indicate that the over-availability of tech can actually distract and hinder one’s ability to meet deadlines. Keeping a healthy balance of connectivity and remoteness to the social sphere is more like an art form. With a little practice, this crucial skill will enable you to make the most out of those smart devices.

In order to see the forest for the trees, here are a few methods I’ve identified to effectively use technology to be productive.

Multi-tasking isn’t for everyone. Having alerts and to-do lists that sync to all of your devices is great. But when your work on a project is interrupted by a mass of buzzing alarms — you may need to be a little less organized.

Just because you have the capability to perform several tasks at the same time doesn’t mean that you will succeed at performing them efficiently. Relax. Start with the most important ones and work from there! Technology should help you perform important tasks — it shouldn’t make you stressed or tired. If using an app to perform a task is making you anxious, go back to doing it the old-fashioned way!

Competing research suggests that technology can reduce stress, which ultimately leads to happier, more productive work days. So don’t put away that smartphone JUST YET. Find ways to streamline your gadget-use so you don’t turn into a tech-zombie!