Technology and Productivity

With the vast array of technology available today, one would assume organizational skills would have increased dramatically. We should be the most organized society in the history of mankind!

Unfortunately, the opposite has occurred. We are one of the most unorganized societies in history. According to an October 3, 2005 Business Week article, “…fully 25% of executives at large companies say their communications — voice mail, e-mail, and meetings — are nearly or completely unmanageable.” That’s according to a McKinsey survey of more than 7,800 managers around the world.

Have we fallen in love with technology and forgotten that its purpose is to make our lives easier? Are we suffering from a bad case of technology overload? Or, are we so focused on the next great “invention” and its bells and whistles that we have completely forgotten (or intentionally ignored) the value in maximizing what we already have before we move onto the next gadget?

The real challenge is how to integrate technology into our lives and improve our organization skills without allowing technology to consume more time than it was meant to save. Consider the following steps:

  1. Evaluate Your Organization Skills: Outline your current work style and how you organize your time and activities. Focus on which habits are supporting your organizational skills and which are destroying your ability to get and stay organized.
  2. Develop Your Organizational and Productivity Wish List: Paint a picture of what your life would be like if you were totally organized. Now, compare it to your current situation. Next, be very disciplined about identifying exactly how you will become more organized and exactly how you will save time by using a new technological tool.
  3. Select the Right Technology: When researching and selecting the right technology, consider effectiveness, functionality, affordability, dependability, portability, compatibility, and learnabilty.
  4. Use the Technology to Support Your Game Plan, Not as Your Game Plan: Technology should be used primarily to support your work style and organizational game plan. It is not the “silver bullet” that will magically make us highly organized individuals. With that in mind, select the right technology based on your personal needs, objectives, and goals.

Make it your objective to control technology instead of it controlling you!