We’re surrounded by technology 24 hours a day. Mobile phones mean that we can be contactable wherever we are day or night. Laptops are great, now they allow us to be able to work anywhere, when we’re not in the office, while travelling and at home.
However, there’s a downside to all this technology and being constantly contactable. Firstly if it goes wrong you’re stuck. How do you carry on if the technology fails? Secondly, being constantly around technology means that we can never get away from it or we feel a reluctance to let it go or switch it off – hence we end up taking it with us … just in case.
How many of you were still working over the Bank Holiday weekend? Did you feel that the technology meant you couldn't really take time out - or did you manage to switch off the phone and shut-down the computer. How many people take their mobile phone, PDA or laptop with them when they go away on holiday? Perhaps your business is so critical that you can’t possibly be out of contact for one minute.
What would happen if you left your mobile phone at home or on your desk or even switched off while you went to a meeting? I recently read that top execs don't have a problem with being unavailable and switching off their phones - it's the one's that are out to impress or want to feel important that feel the need to be permanently contactable.
Would it really matter if you didn’t answer that email as soon as it arrives in your inbox or respond to a phone call. OK, I appreciate that in some instances you need to respond promptly in order not to lose business or to provide your clients with the service they expect but does it mean you're no longer in control of your time?
Technology is great for making lives easier and for saving time but make sure that you’re not totally dependent on it or if you are that you have a process or system in place to handle things if you’re without it for a while. Don't become a slave to technology. Learn to make the most of the tools you have to save you time and money, not to add to your stress and waste your time, when you can't get them to work or things go wrong.
Use technology as a tool, don't become it's slave.