“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s a train coming at me.”
The average knowledge worker checks their email over 30 times per hour. People can be hundreds, even thousands of kilometers from their office and still conduct business as if they were physically there. Professionals work more hours outside the workplace than ever before.
We have become rich. Technology rich, that is. For many, embracing the richness of technology has enabled them to become full-fledged members in the age of overload.
The fringe benefits of belonging to the age of overload era include;
– leaving work tired and frustrated; not really certain what you accomplished during the day.
– being resentful that others steal your time with requests coupled with unreasonable timelines.
– feeling de-energized from working frantically throughout the day while recognizing that tomorrow won’t be much different.
Becoming technology rich doesn’t automatically move you into the age of overload. It is a choice we make, often unconsciously. People that feel overwhelmed, helpless and ineffective have come to believe that just because they are technology rich, priorities will manage themself.
This is not the case.
Technology enables us to do more things, with more people, faster. Yet if this creates the condition where “everything is a priority”, then in fact nothing is a priority and you become priority poor.
Be wise about how you embrace technology. Being technology rich must not mean you are priority poor. You have to (or better, you get to) make choices, for yourself, for your team and with those you interact with.
Technology should enable you, not exhaust you. If you or those around you are suffering from a priority poor environment, you can choose to change it.
There is always enough time for some things, the things we call priorities. There is never enough time (or enough technology) for everything.
Creating a common understanding and approach to priorities and how to manage conflicting priorities amongst professionals and business functions is what makes some successful and significant, and others not. Everyone has access to technology yet only a few manage themselves out of the potential side effects of being technology rich.
Insist on a priority rich environment, wherever you are, this being just enough priorities to drive your difference to the customers. The results are high levels of motivation from a sense of accomplishment, a genuine feeling of team spirit and high levels of positive energy.