I’ve just left an Engage for Success Social Engagement Sub Group meeting (must come up with a shorter title!) and a topic I kept coming back to was about having work flows and processes to get things done in the smoothest, most efficient way, so they happen. But that, of course, relies on people knowing how to use the technology properly in the first place.
We were talking about email and technology in general and about the generations and whether older people are as tech savvy as the millennials (a much discussed topic nowadays).
As an aside, I think it’s situation dependent. Facebook has a growing demographic of older users and less teenagers on it and, earlier, I read about a 72 year old lawyer who uses social media to research his opponents’ counsel. Horses for courses!
How Good Was Your Technology Training?
Someone asked about organisations and whether they are training people to use technology, and whether that will enable better use of it.
I’ve been involved with technology my whole career from when we only had terminals and not PCs and car phones not mobile phones! Whilst organisations sent people on lots of courses on how to use Word and Excel and other software there are still so many people without even a basic understanding of how technology works, who have muddled along and learnt how to use the things they need to use – after a fashion.
One of the downsides of creating software that is intuitive to use in a basic way but not designed to ‘signpost’ the shortcuts and ‘hacks’ well enough that anyone other than the curious and most tech savvy people can work out easily, is that people only ‘learn’ to use the tech in a basic way.
We have regular tech updates within the Engage for Success core team meetings – staffed by secondees from large corporates and volunteers, mostly working from home – run by yours truly. And we are focusing on how to use technology, software and apps to work better, quicker, more efficiently and more collaboratively.
I work with intelligent people who own smartphones, tablets, PCs or Macs and who use technology to get their job done and yet there are huge gaps in their digital education, which is frustrating them and causing them to take overly long to get stuff done.
We’ve Let Down a Whole Generation
I believe that we have let down a generation by not teaching people properly how to use and take advantage of the technology that is now so ubiquitous in the developed world.
Many organisations are still stopping their employees from using certain platforms, which doesn’t help, but hopefully that won’t be affecting you working from your home office!
But what might be affecting your work rate, levels of stress and wellbeing is a lack of knowledge around how best to use technology to improve your productivity and to enable you to be organised in what you’re doing.
Not knowing the easiest and quickest way to do something can waste so much time and create so much frustration.
If you’ve got hundreds or even thousands of unread emails in your inbox because you don’t know which apps to use, how to set up filters and how to integrate your tools is likely to be really slowing you down and creating untold stress.
The stress of worrying whether you’ve missed doing something…feeling overwhelmed because of the sheer volume of emails…wasted time searching for emails that you know you’ve read but you can’t seem to find now you want to do something as a response…
Do any of these examples sound familiar?
Setting up processes and workflows using the technology and tools available is so important to decrease the overwhelm and make the space for you to get the right stuff done in the best way, rather than being distracted by your overwhelming inbox and other technological clutter including clunky ‘not fit for purpose’ work flows (although I think that may be an oxymoron!). But you can only do this if you know enough about the technology in the first place to enable you to integrate it smoothly into your life with it positively affecting what you’re doing, rather than getting in the way because it’s not quite working for you because you don’t quite know how to get the best use from it.
What processes and workflows do you have in place? Where do you need help? What doesn’t work so well for you and gets in the way of your productivity?
If you’re looking for ways of using your smartphone to be more productive, you may be interested in downloading my mini report ‘My Favourite Productivity Apps’.