We’re all getting more and more wired into technological tools – tools we believe help improve personal productivity. I believe that many people suffering from information overload are allowing technology to run them rather than the other way around. More technology isn’t always the answer, no matter how well written or developed. We all craze over new software, claiming this one is better than that other one without even trying it out, basing ourselves only on their price, date of creation or team behind it. So my idea is run free! Try the ones that appeal with you, buy the ones you fall for but don’t overdo it. Use only the necessary software and do the maximum yourself: No I’m not encouraging you to be an IT retard. I’m simply helping you remain free. Any good guru would tell you the same.
We are all guilty of interrupting work to do insignificant things such as reply to a chat message where a friend is sharing a link about the latest online game or a BBC feed. We are downloading the latest software and a pop-up window proposes you to read an article about the latest fashion or a new car and after you read it we get up from our desk, go on the phone and from a work discussion it is too easy to switch to a have-you-watched-last-night’s-game discussion. Worst is that we often do not realize we are doing these things. They are not natural but we see them as such. This is called habits, namely bad habits and we have to break them folks. And I know I haven’t even mentioned going on Facebook!
Technology is a real gift we all agree. It helps us save time, remove a part of our work load from our shoulders and open new windows to life (yes I like playing with words!). But information overload is not a problem against technology, let’s be clear; it is a result of technology. If you don’t already have the basic skills to manage information, technology might contribute to your difficulties instead of helping you solve them. So many IT executives think by giving employees the latest tools they will produce more. And if this isn’t the case they just buy even more technology to solve what they believe to be the problem.
Information overload is basically a human problem and therefore asks for a human solution. If you are unable to do something yourself you will find it hard to create a software to get it to do it, right? Technological solutions can only be as good as the people using and developing it.
If you are ineffective to start with, no amount of technology will change that. It will just mean you’re inefficient with an expensive gadget. You have to work on your personal mental abilities to organize, choose your priorities and concentrate on what you need and leave the rest.
So where do you start?
Step 1: List your needs as well as difficulties.
Step 2: Go through what’s available in your situation. You will obviously not review everything that is on the market so an easy starting point could be trusting reviews of a recognized group.
Step 3: Give in only if you really can see the coming benefits of this project.
Step 4: Review outcome to know if you can trust that brand and those who recommended it.
Change the way you work. Time management and personal productivity is a behavioural process; no software can teach you to better yourself. Technology is there to help you improve your own efficiency; it’s not there to become a substitute of your skills or be better than you have ever been.
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