January 25, 2012

Is Technology To Blame?

BY John Paul Narowski IN Productivity 0 Comment

Technology has accelerated business into a new era. Information travels at the speed of light and arrives at the push of a button. Smart phones, tablets, netbooks, and the Internet are responsible for the way we conduct business. So you have to ask yourself: Why is it that we still struggle to accomplish so much?

It would seem that with all this technology available to us that we should find it easier to conduct business, but it isn’t so. We answer the phone when it rings. Emails and instant messages are amongst our top priorities while we work. The problem with all this technology around us is that we find it difficult to stay focused.

Whose to blame?  We are and our inability to control technology.

One thing at a time

It started a new wave of information and its delivery, now hiding in our pockets and purses in the form of smart phones and tablets. We find ourselves compelled to answer our phone when it buzzes or beeps, or even obligated to talk to someone through an email or social media whenever we’re alerted. But, that’s not the way things should be.

We must learn how to deal with technology properly. It is a servant master companionship. Unfortunately, it is often the technology that has mastered the user. You must master your use of technology. Don’t let your technology control you. Think about your cell phone, when it rings, do you HAVE to answer it immediately? Or can you resist obeying your technology?

Manage your time accordingly: taking calls, emails, and other sources when you designate that it’s time.

Rather than take calls all day long whenever they come, use your phone, email, messages, or social media accounts at a scheduled time. And, avoid doing them all at once – doing so robs you of the  focus and systematization necessary to yield effective productivity.

Juggling business

Multi-tasking is the renowned ability to do several things at once.  In this juggling, is where technology creates the illusion of control.

Just because we can use so many great tools doesn’t mean we should. When the “smoke and mirrors of efficiency” take us away from the time and focus necessary to develop relationships, listen and actually hear or even just to think; then we need to examine what are the actions necessary to be effective versus efficient.

The myth lies we think efficiency equals effectiveness – but it doesn’t.  Be efficient with things; be effective with people.

Next time you’re sitting at your desk, focused on making contact with customers or following up with someone and then your cell phone rings, think about how that simple call has changed what was going on. You stopped your train of thought, you stopped working, you answered the phone and likely carried on a completely different conversation that had nothing to do with the topic you were working on, put your phone back in your pocket, and then wondered: Now where was I?  All day long, be it your phone or laptop, we let technology control what we can accomplish.

Yet, if you create a system for your actions that moves from point A, to point B and then to point C; a system that is set up in steps that yield results or action.  It can serve as a road map which you can exit from if necessary but always know where the “on ramp” is to take you to the next point.   Then, instead of you being driven by technology – you then drive the technology by automating actions that drive to a result.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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