Technology...The Culprit and the Tool

Technology has given us the tools to reduce routine tasking, yet we are all too aware that technology is seen as the culprit as much as the solution. We only need to look around us to see the developments of the past 20 years. American Demographics magazine tells us we receive a staggering 189 messages a day. They come to us through mobile phones, cell phones, faxes, pagers, emails and voicemails. 'You've got mail' has taken on a whole new meaning. But 15-20 years ago the majority of these vehicles either didn't exist or were not being widely used. In our day-to-day lives, it is the conscious act of using technology that helps organize ourselves and see it as a useful tool.

Consolidate information to manage time
A basic time management principle tells us to store similar things in one location and computers have helped us do just that. Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are small, lightweight handheld computers. They store four critical types of information: 1) names/addresses 2) appointments 3) 'to do' lists and 4) notes. They can also act as a clock, calculator, expense log, camera?even a TV remote control. With speed, portability and ease of operation, PDAs put all of your time management elements in one place.

Stop the repetition to save time
Organizing and time management strategies encourage users to develop systems for routine tasking. Technology helps save time by performing routine tasks that are both inevitable and repetitive. Most electronic equipment offers features such as automatic telephone dialing, alarms, reminders, etc. Make an appointment with yourself to setup and learn these types of features and save yourself some future time.

Combine activity for efficiency
Performing several tasks within one software program saves time. For example, there is contact management software on the market that enables you to wear a telephone headset that plugs into your telephone. Just point and click on the contact's name and it automatically dials. Email can also be sent directly from this program. Setting the time and resources aside to practice use of integrating these technology tools helps you become more efficient.

The Internet works
The Internet can be a great organizing tool. It automatically delivers information on areas of interest, special events and reminders. But 'surfing' can easily lure people away from their priorities. If you tend to be challenged by practicing sound time management activities, the concern is that much greater. Learn to use this technology deliberately and wisely.

Technology can help individual processes become quicker, better and more efficient. And organizations begin to realize higher productivity returns.

Remember, the technology train continues coming down the track and waits for no one, so hop on and enjoy the ride.

Copyright 2001. Cynthia Kyriazis. All rights reserved.

Cynthia Kyriazis is an organizing and time management consultant, trainer, speaker, coach and author with over 20 years management experience in multi-unit corporations. Organize it, a division of Productivity Partners, Inc. is an organizational training firm she founded in 1995 and has been serving Fortune 500 clients ever since. Cynthia works with business and their employees to help improve performance and realize productivity gains.

Cynthia has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kansas City Star and the Legal Intelligencer. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), member of the Kansas City of the International Society for Performance Improvement ? (ISPI-KC) and consultant to the American Coaching Association.

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