Men's Articles

Don't Be Overwhelmed By Technology, Make It Work For You


It is almost surreal how technology has taken over people's lives. With a click of a button, working life has been made easier. Or has it? According to recent research conducted by Day Timers Inc, a research organisation based in the United States, the percentage of workers who complete two-thirds of their work in an average day has decreased by 25 per cent.

The biggest culprit of this decline: . technology that is supposed to quicken and relieve our workload. Also, the average time spent on a computer at work was almost 16 hours a week last year, up from 9.5 hours a decade ago. Every company relies on technology - no office is complete without computers, fax machines and photocopiers. People risk being overwhelmed by a flood of e-mails, voice mails, calls and instants messages.

In another study by The Institute of Business Technology, tracking the amount of time workers spent on e-mail, voice-mail and paper mail, respondents reported spending an average of nine hours a week in 2005 as compared to 5.8 hours in 1997. This bombardment feeds a vicious cycle that not only affects working lives, but personal lives as well. It causes a decrease in productivity, resulting in employees struggling to complete the tasks at hand.

They have to work overtime in order to meek deadlines, resulting in an unhealthy work-life balance. Perhaps it is the people who do not know how to effectively use these tools. Given that technology plays a vital role in people's lives, how can they use it to their advantage? In the third edition of the book, The Personal Efficiency Program - How to Get Organized To Do More Work In Less Time, author Kerry Glees on states that it is not uncommon to find people receiving over 2,000 e-mail messages a day. obviously, Ibis can be overwhelming.

"Like papers in a basket, the electronic mailbox can fill up quickly" said Mr Gleeson. "Some systems allow hundreds of messages to accumulate in the inbox. This can become unmanageable and results in slowdowns. One of the most important buttons on the keyboard is the delete key" It is possible, he said, to organise e-mail through a series of steps that include identifying your e-mail file features, responsibility maps, the art of deleting or saving and shared drives. You can create and organise e-mail address books, computer desktops and shared networks. Some time saving technology tips that he suggests are:

  • Keep voice mail short, limit messages to one minute;
  • Repeat your phone number twice to give the listener a chance to write it down;
  • Send an e-mail rather than a voice message if you have a lot of information to convey;
  • Set aside "do not disturb" times when you will not be interrupted. Communicate them in your phone messages and in out-of-office messages on your e-mail;
  • Use urgent or priority tags on messages sparingly if you want them to have effect;
  • Reply to or file your e-mails as you read them to keep your inbox clear, and
  • One subject per e-mail improves response time.
 

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