According to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, you're probably slowly suffocating yourself throughout the workday.

That's because most people subconsciously hold their breath while they check their email, cutting off the supply of oxygen to their brain. This raises CO2 levels in your blood, leading to a chemical reaction that creates anxiety without you even knowing it.

What if there was a way to enlist your technological micro-behaviors to make your workday easier instead of driving you to an early grave?

Alex Pang's 2013 book The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul is all about making information technology—your email, Facebook and the like- work for you instead of against you. He's exploring how in his talk on TechFestNW 2016's main stage: Weapons of Mass Distraction—How to own your digital devices, not the other way around.

Pang's big idea is contemplative computing: using IT and social media to help make you more mindful, focused and creative instead of more distracted and distressed. The Distraction Addiction is Pang's roadmap to contemplative computing, described by the Washington Post as "a thoughtful examination of the perils of our computing overdose and a historical overview of how technological advances change consciousness."

Pang's got a second book in the works, Rest: Why We Achieve More When We Do Less, that is going to look at the role that deliberate rest plays in the success of super creative and productive people like Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill.

Alex Pang on Contemplative Computing

When Pang isn't figuring out how to hack your life, he is a consultant at Menlo Park, CA and London based Strategic Business Insights and a visiting scholar at Stanford University.

Join Alex Soojung-Kim Pang and our other excellent speakers at TechFestNW 2016: April 25-26 at The Armory in Portland, Oregon's Pearl District. For more information or tickets to TFNW, visit