Hijacked by Technology

Technology transforms the way we live and conduct business. Change is fast and change is constant.

Computers, internet and web are here to stay. There is a price for the latest technology. Has technology hijacked you?

Instead of increasing productivity, technology can decrease your efficiency. Interrupting your focus to check your email inbox, for example decreases your productivity. Dan Kennedy, marketing guru, equates checking your email inbox ” every whip stitch” [my grandmother’s term] to going to the front door to look outside to see if you have a visitor.

Spending hours working at your computer fosters sedentary work habits. Bad posture and expanding waistlines contribute to preventable health problems.

In some places it is illegal to drive while texting or talking on the phone. Legal or not, it is a serious distraction. I noticed someone making a left turn, talking on her cell phone and holding a cigarette. No kidding.

The ability to send and receive information instantly promotes a NOW mentality. Just because you can, does not mean an immediate response is the best action to take.

Following a severe thunderstorm in June, I was without electricity and internet service for almost 48 hours. With temperatures hovering at 100 degrees, 48 hours probably seemed longer than it really was. Did I mention no telephone?

Undaunted I took advantage of a long stretch of uninterrupted time to tackle the following:

1. Organize a project I had been procrastinating about for months. The systems and files save me time and frustration.

2. De-clutter some files. There is room for new projects and clients

3. Clean out three stacking files on my desk. Now I feel in charge when I look at the files that are labeled Next Action (Things to Do as Soon as I Can), Reference and Waiting for…

The air conditioner hummed quietly as I kicked back to enjoy my achievements. Why had I not done this sooner? I could have carved out some focused, uninterrupted time without a prompt from Mother Nature. Who is the boss, technology or me?

Use these principles to make technology work for you:

Just say yes. Choose the technology that supports your goals. Investing in technology because it is the latest and greatest is not reason enough.

Like goes with like. Batch your tasks so you can concentrate for a period on one task or project. Some examples are writing a report, returning phone calls, updating KPI, or interviewing job candidates. Multi tasking is counter productive and inefficient.

Stay up to speed. Keep your technology current. It is more cost effective in the end to maintain up to date software, operating systems, and telephones.

Technology makes a great servant and a lousy master. Technology works best when it works FOR you.

© 2011 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved

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