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Over the past several months, I have seen thousands of people feverishly pecking away at cell phones and tablet devices. Initially, I was impressed and excited about what my fellow technology lovers were doing. However, upon closer inspection, I discovered that most of them were not at becoming more mobile and efficient. Instead, they were addicted to a game. I like to tell myself the fairy tale that these people had used their technology to become more efficient and thus had the free time to go crazy over computerized pieces of candy.
I have optimized my tablet device, laptop and smartphone to use the same programs so that no matter which I use, I am able to write my blog, draft contracts, write proposals, and e-mail colleagues and family, and even enjoy family photos. By putting the same programs on all my devices, I am not tied to my desk but can make adjustments and modifications wherever I find myself. How many times have you placed a meeting in your calendar while at the office and then gotten a telephone call while at the doctor’s office or while waiting in line at the market changing the date of the meeting? If you are like most working professionals, this has happened numerous times. If your calendar is on your cell phone, which everyone carries around, these things are not big deal because you can immediately make the change on your electric calendar. Similarly, if a co-worker calls, texts or emails you with questions about a proposal you are drafting, if you keep your word processor or spreadsheet on your phone and tablet it is easy to make the changes at a covenant location, rather than writing the notes in a piece of paper that gets lost while you are waiting to get to your desk.
Our technology makes it possible for us to work smarter instead of merely working harder. Take your calendar for example. I used to love my Day planner calendars. I annoyed moving the appointments and tasks from one day to the next. I even had a collection of binders I would switch out depending on where I would be and what I would be doing each day. However, hand copying tasks and appointments from one page to another is not the most efficient use of time. It is faster and more likely to be an error-free event if one changes dates for appointments and tasks on a computerized calendar program. A running to do list on your telephone that syncs with your tablet and computer is easier to keep from being lost than a series of post-it notes. Even for those of us who work at home, it is nice to be able to sit in any room of the house and work, rather than being tied to the desk.
A sticky notes program for your computer or tablet allows you to maintain all your sticky notes, but since they are electronic, they will not blow away in the wind! An electronic address book, now commonly called a contact list, is efficiently maintained and kept neat when done electronically. (It can also be printed on paper for those who must have a phone book they can touch. The most important thing to remember about technology is that it is yours and it is flexible. Use your technology to find ways to make it easier and more efficient for you to get done what needs doing in your life.
In conclusion, it is terrific to be thankful for technology because it can make you more efficient. So, the question for you this terrific day is what about your technology helps you be more efficient?