Sunday, March 18, 2012

When Office Technology Overwhelms, Get Organized

If you were asked whether or not you were more productive than you were ten years ago - how would you answer? Many would give a resounding "no" because they are overwhelmed and buried by the stream of information coming through the various technologies we all have. Cel phones, Twitter, Facebook, texting, Linkedin, email, RSS feeds, newspapers (yes, I still read two a day) and other sources of information are more than we can often handle. One of my favorite authors, David Allen, recently wrote about this in the New York Times in an article entitled When Office Technology Overwhelms, Get Organized. Below are six statements he often hears from his consulting clients. Keep in mind that his personal clients are often Fortune 500 CEO's and even with their skills they still have these feelings.

• “I’m overwhelmed, and with all the changes going on here, it’s getting worse. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do my job.”

• “I have new responsibilities that demand creative and strategic thought, but I’m not getting to them.”
• “I have too many meetings to attend, and I can’t get any ‘real’ work done.”
• “I have too many e-mails, and, given day-to-day urgencies, the backlog keeps growing.”
• “I feel like I’m not giving the right amount of attention to what’s most important.”

And here’s a common kicker, for those willing to admit it:
“I just can’t keep going like this.”

Here is David's view of what is happening in our technology based world.

"Cranking out widgets is one thing; deciding which widgets need cranking first, and in what quantity, is quite another — especially if you are now charged with continually improving the system, or determining whether you should even be cranking out those widgets at all.
It can be a recipe for frustration, as employees feel overwhelmed by their companies’ very progress. And the problems and logistics of workers’ personal lives add yet another layer of complexity. "
One our our reasons for being frustrated is because we are doing more and more and often we still are not sure if we are doing the right thing. David has many tools to help with this in his book Getting Things Done - it's a must read to bring sanity to your life.

Our world is never going to be as slow paced as it is today - life will only get faster and faster. The good news is that if we can get on the leading edge through improving our own lives - we can be one of the winners. Don't let the onslaught of information bring you down. Get into David's thinking and improve your own life.

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