Productivity Tips Newsletter
By Daniel Stamp
In today’s workplace, the halftime score is Technology 1, Time 0. We are losing the game to technology and it’s affecting our productivity. Case in point: think about the start of your workday. Like most people, you went to your desk, booted up your computer and went first to your e-mail. That is what’s wrong with the way we are working today-technology is driving the agenda.
Most of us used to start the day by writing a “to do” list and perhaps assigning priorities to tasks so we knew where to focus our energy. Then e-mail came into our lives. Pretty soon we were starting our day by checking our e-mail. We respond to a few messages, perhaps make a few calls. The problem? We are side-tracked from our priorities right from the start.
Like so many technologies today, e-mail has tremendous potential to help us communicate faster, get more done and be more productive. But only if we know how to make the technology work for us. And many people don’t.
The “tech-rich” workplace
But how wisely are we using all this technology? In one study, 92 percent of those questioned said they do not getting the most out of new technologies.
What price we paying personally? One-third of respondents say more technology makes them feel more stressed. While most people say new technologies help them reach their professional goals, almost 40 per cent say technology is not helping them attain their personal goals.
The “time-poor” workplace
The 40-hour workweek is ancient history. Eighty percent of respondents regularly work more than the 40 hours a week. And more than 80 per cent say their works demands are growing due to more information coming at them.
There’s more stress than satisfaction in today’s workplace. Almost two out of three people feel stressed two days or more each week. One of the saddest statistics, from my point of view, is that only five per cent of people feel a sense of personal accomplishment as the end of every day. We are running hard, but feel like we’re getting nowhere.
Management skills amnesia
It’s because many people don’t know how to turn technology tools into productivity tools. People expect technology to do the work for them and forget about basic management skills, such as identifying priorities, managing time, planning and delegating. As a result of this “management skills amnesia,” we run risk of being slaves to technology. It’s making people busier but not necessarily more productive – and certainly not happier.
Toward tech rich, time rich
Here’s a simple first step: when you get to work tomorrow, stop before you check your e-mail. First, identify your priorities and plan your day. Then, look at every technology you use and determine how it can meet your needs.
Once you become master of technology, you can harness the potential of that technology to gain control of your life, become a more effective manager, and reap the benefits of a balanced lifestyle. That’s something worth working for.
(firstname.lastname@example.org) is the chair and founder of Priority
Management Systems Inc.
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