Technically we were promised that technology would make life easier, help us to get things done positively, and save us time. In reality, technology often makes things more complicated, increases our stress levels, and steals our time. Of course the technology is rarely the problem. The problem usually lies in how we use the technology. If you use technology productively, life can be a lot easier but if you want to use technology productively, it is going to take effort, discipline and self-management on your part. The secret is not the technology you use, the secret lies in how you use the technology.
5 Tips to use technology productively
The following 5 tips will help you to use technology productively, improving your time management, your results without.
1. Do not check email first thing in the morning
Effective people have a plan for their day. If they fail to use technology productively, these plans soon disappear. Email, if used incorrectly can quickly distract you from your plans. Something within your email seems urgent (though it rarely is) and it causes you to push your plans to one side and jump into fire fighting mode. Before long, you have wasted a great deal of the day and you not achieved anything important.
One of the most important strategies to use technology productively is to avoid checking your email first thing in the morning. Get your most important task first Then, when you do check your email, if you get distracted, you have still completed your most important work.
2. Set times for email and voicemail
To use technology productively, you need to be proactive rather than reactive. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to establish set times for checking your email and voicemail. When you know that you will be catching up on your messages, you no longer feel the need to continuously check your email or answer every call. This gives you control of your time and enables you to be more productive.
3. Only answer if it is an emergency
During your most productive time forward all calls to voicemail. There will rarely be a call which needs your immediate attention. If you are expecting an important call and you have to leave your phone on; only answer that call. Any other call can be routed to your voicemail.
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4. VIP email
The 80/20 principle teaches us that 20% of our communication has 80% of the importance. To improve your productivity, you might set up a separate VIP email account so that the 20% can be kept separate from all the unimportant email. Only give this email address to those who send the important emails.
This is a quick and easy way to use technology productively as a new email account can be set up in a few minutes and it will allow you to check your important email more frequently and the less important email less frequently.
5. Automate, Automate, Automate
When people think of delegating, they think of handing a task to another person. If a task is a recurring task, before you hand a task to another person, you should ask yourself if the task can be automated. There are varying degrees of automation which can add to up significant time savings.
Every time a new piece of technology is launched, we are told how it is going to make our lives easier and help us to get more done. Yet, as the world has become much more computerized, and technology has become more advanced, people are working harder than ever. You have to make a real effort to use technology productively. It doesn’t happen by accident. If you are not proactive in your attempts to use technology productively, technology can be a time thief rather than a time saver. Implement the 5 tips, listed above, and you will begin to use technology productively and better results will come your way.