A few months ago, Baseline Magazine ran an article called Ditch Your Blackberry, which chronicled an interview with personal productivity guru David Allen, and which contained good advice beyond that imparted in the title.
According to Allen, personal technology IT helps people connect, but it often adds more stress than it alleviates. Yes its true that without technology, your productivity would likely crash and burn, but technology is a double edged sword. If you are unproductive to begin with, technology will just be something else you use unproductively.
Technology keeps you down in the weeds all day, often keeping you from seeing the big picture. The larger perspective. It’s important not to lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish and what people need to be involved in a conversation. And when it comes to productivity, it’s important not to forget the human equation. What does “done” mean? What does “doing” look like? Where does it happen? And who is doing it? The biggest challenge is usually to define your work. Technology can’t do that. It can only help you do your work once it’s defined.
Furthermore, technology cannot take into consideration all the subtleties of collaboration. The biggest issue with collaboration technology is that people tend to make it overly complex, thinking it’s going to make work simpler, but the truth is, you have to make technology as simple as possible with as few moving parts as you can get by with, in order to leave lots of room for flexibility as things change.
In other words:
- You need good processes. Technology will not fix a bad process.
- Don’t lose sight of your goals when using technology.
It’s there to serve you, not the other way around.
- Success depends on collaboration, and, although technology can enable collaboration, it does not create it.