Is Technology your Good Witch or Bad Witch?

Evil witches
Image by Brett L. via Flickr

I have a project I need to finish. Not because I really have to, but because I said I would to someone I never met. Many months ago I got an email from Stever Robbins’ assistant/publisher/helper to ask if I’d be interested in reviewing his upcoming book, ‘9 Steps to Work Less and Do More‘. I said sure! Send me a copy of the book and I’ll review it on my blog…The irony of commiting to reviewing the book is that I need the time to read the book, rarely read paper books as I’m a computer gunkie, and can’t seem to get to the task, and I don’t have the time management tools available to me to Work Less and Do More…Yet.

How far have I gotten in the book? Step 3. Conquer Technology… Scary topic for me! Stever asks if you have reviewed if technology is helping you be more productive, or if it is sucking you into a time warp. Is technology your good witch or bad witch? You know what I mean. You google something about how to organize your closet better, and then decide to check your e-mail at the same time because organizing your closet is boring, you click the link from your friend to check out this hilarious cat video on Youtube. Then you remember the last time you were on Youtube you watched this great video by Pat Benatar and before you know it, it’s 11:30pm and it’s time for bed…You got nothing done!

Stever suggests you really consider how you use your computer, and allot it time as a tool much like a hammer, mixer, etc…He suggests that you use paper to keep your ToDo list. I find this intriguing. Here is what he says about whether technology delivered on its promise:

To-Do list. Fail! It took more time to add items, and items that got pushed beyond the first screen or two never got reviewed or done. Paper was faster to write and scan, and it forced me to review my unchecked-off list every time I filled up my notepad. Besides, my paper had perfect handwriting recognition, and my PDA didn’t.

I have a Moleskine Notebook and think I should use it more to keep my tasks. This reliance on Remember the Milk, my iPhone, browser and computers needs to be reviewed periodically. Not that I think it is inefficient. I love Remember the Milk! But I notice when I get busy at work I start to write things down. Same goes for writing down my voicemail messages. I do fear giving up technology as I have this fascination with it, but if we really want to get more done in less time, is sitting in front of a computer going to help or hinder you?

So if I can offer one bit of advice? Look at how useful your computer/technology setup is, and see if it is helping you get more done. If not, it’s time to review what works for you, and what doesn’t…

Tomorrow I will tell you how it’s even possible that I got to Step 3 in the book! I can thank Stever for that as well…