Tips for Taking Back Control of Your Tech

By Thought Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: Tips for Taking Back Control of Your Tech

Coming off CES, technology is on the mind of tens of thousands of wonks as well as marketers, brand managers and media executives. They all have one thing in common: the need to tap into technology to be productive on the job.  Video conferencing, online project management and other virtual office apps make it easier than ever to bridge geographical divides and get more done during a workday. Still, almost every business transaction boils down to one human being doing something for another; it's an exchange of goods or services older than money itself.  But when technology disrupts the humanity at the heart of a business, it's no longer helpful -- it's distracting.  Tech can actually take away productivity.

A CareerBuilder survey says four of the top 10 workplace productivity killers, ironically, are actually technologies: cellphones and texting, the internet, social media and email.  A similar survey found that 24 percent of employees spend at least one hour of every workday completing personal calls, emails or texts.  Most of us have tried to multitask or even pause a conversation with a co-worker to check a text message -- or had to wait to regain the attention of a distracted coworker.  That little flag or alert pops up on your screen and you momentarily lose the thread of a meeting's discussion.

To short circuit conversations from getting derailed, use your tech -- from apps and platforms -- to keep your head where it needs to be with these suggestions:

• Keep your technology from interrupting you.  Notifications have a way of putting your focus in a vice grip.  They have the power to take your attention away from the task at hand, but you have the power to turn them off.  Ensure any tech you're using in a meeting can disable notifications. Flip that switch off, so you can eliminate the temptations that pull you away from focusing on the conversation.

• Deploy video capabilities to stay on task. Use video to increase human-to-human interactions.  CEO Clara Shih of Hearsay Systems encourages leaders to keep remote meeting participants engaged by using video.  People are much less likely to multitask when they're on screen.

• Tap into tech to confirm action items and decisions.  Make sure you and your collaborators don't forget key points, and send recaps or follow-ups immediately afterwards to the team.  Full disclosure, my company's own "Eva", an in-meeting AI assistant, can collect action items by "listening in," recording conversations to keep discussion points from being lost in translation, capture the highlights from the discussion, then transcribe them into action items to send out to all the attendees.

• Choose tech that syncs!  Add meeting to-dos to your collaboration software and choose one that integrates with other platforms, like BlueJeans, Salesforce and Slack.

Keep technology working for you, instead of the other way around, versus acting like Pavlov's dog at all new bells and whistles in tech.  The wonks will be impressed.

Photo credit:  rawpixel.com on Unsplash

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