We are meant to believe that the newest technological wonder is supposed to make our lives easier and more simplified. Part of living easy is being able to do your work quicker and more effectively, so you avoid long hours at the office and unnecessary stress. Think of all the smartphone, iPad and car commercials that you see. How many of you feel as carefree and at peace as those people on the advertisement?.... Don't raise your hands all at once...
Stever Robbins, author of the future best-selling book 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, also has a podcast (which is one of my favorites to listen to), which offers bite-size tips to improve your productivity and business relationships. On a guest post about 3 secrets for doing less and working more, Stever brings up an important topic that he also writes about in his book : Conquering Technology!
If you were to imagine your version of a perfect world, would it even have half of the gizmos and gadgets that we use in our daily lives? On my "deserted island" scenario, I wouldn't bring my cellphone (there's no 3G coverage) or my laptop (only 2 hours of battery life and no internet) but I would most likely bring my fountain pen, a bottle of ink and a few dozen notebooks to document my adventures. Gee, that works anywhere, regardless if the network is down or if you're out of reception!
For us to simplify our work and our lives, Stever writes that we need to evaluate how technology works / doesn't work for us. For keeping appointments and schedules, does a Filofax or the Outlook calendar better suit you? Is it easier to manage pen & paper contacts or do it digitally through your Gmail contacts?
Stever writes about task lists, "The task list on my phone and computer is more trouble than it’s worth. I routinely ignore any tasks that had scrolled off the screen, and scrolling down the interface takes ages. I jumped ship to a to-do list on a 3x5 notepad and pencil and I’ve been blissfully happy ever since" Couldn't agree more with you there, as I have post-it notes and my own paper task manager template to keep tabs on all the actionable items attached to projects.
Next time you hear, "there's an app for that," consider the prospect of using that new, flashy application against your current techniques of organization and communication. Just because there is a new iPhone that can do your taxes for you and tell you what a handsome person you are doesn't mean that it is going to be a vast improvement over your accountant and a mirror. Yet, conquering technology doesn't mean shunning it completely. It means making it work for you, as it is supposed to do.