In this second guest blog the lovely Laura Forsyth from Forsyth Business Consultancy talks about how to deal with, and keep on top of, the volume of technology in our lives.
Technology has rapidly advanced over the history of mankind, through the recorded pictographic languages that are over 4000 years old, through The Printing Revolution of the 15th and 16th centuries, to our current digital dependent age. We now rely on increasingly advanced technology, and have an expectation that there is a piece of software, or an app for everything. We need only think of it, and it will or can exist.
We rely on technology to help us with everything, from our bank and business accounts, design platforms, emails, CRM, blogs, filing, calendars, to do lists, ideas, projects, social media, banking, dating, networking, photographing, video watching, purchasing, podcasting, meeting people, using maps, baby milestones, music, jobs, the list is kind of endless.
I bet if I asked you to count up all of the bits of technology you use, you’d think at first it would be quite simple? Then, as you really thought about it it would dawn on you that it’s a bit on the tricky side.
This blog is intended to help you analyse what technology you currently use, to rethink how much technology you need, and to reassure you that you don’t have to feel pressured into using high tech systems, when keeping it simple can be much more effective.
Step 1 – Write it all down
What tech – low, high, or any other, have you installed, bought, uploaded, borrowed, hidden from sight, forgotten about? Write down everything you can think of, and think about these categories to get you started: checklists, diaries, planners, calendars, social media, schedulers, inventory, receipts, invoices, filing, ideas log, client lists, mailing lists, email addresses, to do apps, project trackers.
Be as thorough (and honest) as possible, and get it all down on this table…
Step 2 – Analysing – What don’t you use?
After you’ve written down as many as possible, rate them as low/medium/high depending on your reliance upon them. Then go back through and look at anything you’ve rated as low. Do you really need it? Have you got another system that you can use instead that is better in any/some way?
Step 3 – Action – Delete
Start to delete or uninstall anything you’ve classed as ‘low’ and you’ll already start to feel a bit lighter of spirit and less overwhelmed by everything your inbox is throwing at you when it comes to reminders and notifications.
Step 4 – Analysing – Multiple versions for the same purpose
If you’re still writing down all of the bits of tech that you use, are you surprised by how many apps/platforms/logins/registrations you have that are all intended to do the same job?
Have you tried out a few different social media scheduling platforms, or a couple of CRM or accounts systems? Do you have a few different email addresses? Does a reliance on technology mean that we’re footloose and fancy free with how many pieces of software or systems we sign up for and then discard when we find another piece of tech that does the job better? Are you any good at cancelling tech that you’ve tried and grown out of love with? If you have duplicate tech for the same purpose, which one do you prefer?
Step 5 – Action – Delete
When you know which piece of duplicate tech you prefer, just delete the other one/s. Simples.
Step 6 – Analysing – Keep it simple
When you look at what you’ve got left, which should mainly be everything you’ve rated as high or medium, can you use anything for multiple purposes, thereby condensing your tech further? If you’ve something that is working well for you, then don’t change what’s working, but if for instance, you have a CRM that you use purely for keeping your contacts in one place, could you also use it for newsletters?
Step 7 – Action – Review and repurpose
If you can use a piece of tech for more than one purpose, consider doing so.
There might be a tech answer for everything we need nowadays, but that doesn’t mean we should always use it. I’m a huge advocate of keeping it simple. If you need to use something, then use it. If you can use something for more than one purpose, then do so. If you’re using something that you then supersede with something else, delete the original tech. If you can use something like a spreadsheet rather than a complicated piece of tech, then do it. If the free version of something fits your needs, don’t feel pressured to upgrade. Unless the upgrade means you can do away with other paid for tech.
I’m a huge fan of technology but I think that you need to pick and choose what you use. Be clear about what you want a specific piece of tech to do for you, and why you need that particular piece of tech. Keeping it simple always wins.
About Laura Forsyth
Laura Forsyth enables self employed parents with small children to run their business effectively alongside their family.
As a busy parent with two small children, I get that you’ve got a busy and hectic life, as I have one too. It’s why I’m so good at what I do, and why I understand the stresses and demands on your time.
If you feel like you’re drowning from too many things to do and not enough time to get them done, then let me help. Together we can set you on the path to achieving your goals with a realistic and manageable plan of action.
Contact me, Laura Forsyth, using the contact details below.