Managers, Are You Being Overrun By Technology?

by Frank Swiatek

There was an article in the May 27 edition of the Washington Post that suggested that millions of Americans are now being overrun by technology.  It was an article by tech expert Daniel Sieberg on how to gain control over your gadgets.  He stated that technology had gotten the best of him and he was more distracted and, ironically, more disconnected than ever before (which is the experience of many managers that Denny and I talk with). He suggested that Americans go on a “digital diet.”

In our book, we discuss technology as a managerial distraction that often takes managers away from their real work―growing revenue, getting new customers, keeping the customers they already have, and eliminating costs.  These are what we call, the Four Fundamentals of every manager. Rather than focusing on real results, Sieberg says, people are “burying their heads in technology too often.”

The result of this focus on technology is lost valuable time.  For instance, Sieberg suggests that if you are on-line posting, surfing, or sculpting your image for two hours a day, you could be wasting a full 30 days a year with little to show for it.

On the job, managers become over-sensitive to text messages and to emails.  They often don’t realize that each text message and email places a demand on them, regardless of its importance.  It captures their immediate attention, places a demand on them, and sends their thinking process into a new direction.  They are now distracted.  It will take twice as much effort now to get back to focusing on results.

It’s much like driving on the open highway. As long as you stay on the road, you build or maintain your momentum.  If you are distracted, and unwillingly move to the shoulder of the road, it will take twice as much effort to get back onto the highway.

Our suggestion is to focus on text messages and emails three times a day – morning, noon, and night to enable you to have uninterrupted blocks of time devoted to the Four Fundamentals.

What’s that?  “What if the email or text is urgently important?”  As Denny says, “They’ll know how to get a hold of you!”

Related Posts

Managing Distractions: Tips for Staying Out of Email Jail

Managing Distractions: Worry About What Others Think

Good Managers Focus on the Four Fundamentals

Hard-Hitting Lesson #2: Manage Distractions




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