Originally created 07/21/02

Computers bring on digital depression



Does sweat appear on your brow when you have to complete a project ASAP and you can't get any work done because your computer is frozen?

Does stress raise its ugly head when you have an enormous amount of work to do and you aren't sure how to complete it on the computer?

If you feel that way, then what you are suffering from actually has a name.

It's called "Digital Depression," according to one expert.

"Digital Depression is an outgrowth of the age of technology, especially of the use of computer programs, in the workplace - an overload of information we have to deal with on a daily basis," said Joe Kaminski, the president and owner of Business Resource Group Inc., of Winfield, Ill.

Mr. Kaminski's training and consulting company, which specializes in workload management and project planning, is a franchise of Priority Management Systems Inc., an international training company.

"It's a feeling of being powerless and unable to keep up with things," Mr. Kaminski said. "By the time we learn the latest software program, a new one comes along. The results can be higher stress levels and lower productivity."

Such a malaise is perfectly understandable when you take a look at the "symptoms." According to Mr. Kaminski, workers are stressed "because the new technology makes it possible for you to be interrupted constantly; you get the feeling that every aspect of every program has to be mastered (he calls this "Digital Darwinism"); and you can't work solely on one task until you've finished it."

But there are ways to survive your computer complex.

"With planning, you can be in control of your entire day and software programs - if used effectively - can help solve problems," Mr. Kaminski said. "You have to set priorities effectively so that they relate to what you're trying to get done. Identify your priorities every day."