Do Your Best to Tame the Technology Beast This Busy Season

Read more from Scott Cytron here and in the "PR Matters" archive.
 
It seems you can’t go anywhere or do anything without technology. I know that’s a big Homer Simpson “Doh!,” but it’s true.
 
Think about it.
 
What do we do when the Internet goes out at our offices? Instead of reading a printed magazine article or perhaps the newspaper, we sit around and hope the boss will send us home for the day. After all, nothing is possible without technology.
 
How about at home when the cable goes out or, for example, during the Polar Vortex, when many of us were without electricity? Instead of having a conversation, we ran to the nearest Wi-Fi spot to juice up our cell phones and connect to e-mail.
 
OK, those are two extremes, but you get my point. I was reading an article the other day that made me think about my own use of technology. A 2012 Good Technology poll of office workers found 80 percent reported working an average of seven hours per week at home in addition to their regular workday. Why? Because of e-mail: 69 percent will not go to sleep without checking their e-mail and – it should come as NO surprise at all – 38 percent routinely check e-mails while at the dinner table.
 
Yikes! This makes me absolutely crazy! 
 
I went on vacation during the holidays and vowed not to check e-mail or voice mail while I was gone – and I’m glad to report that I succeeded. I also did not post on Facebook or any other social media, totally detaching myself from all-things work. I did have my iPhone and sent texts, but only to family and friends.
 
What’s the point you ask? I don’t want to be preachy, but let’s get back some more of our personal time that has become such a rare commodity. I really have to laugh when I am working with a client and the client has absolutely no time to follow up on a simple matter. I know he goes to lunch every day (and not with his own clients or to network) and spends quite a bit of time during the day on social media and even Candy Crush Saga.
 
While Candy Crush Saga can be intriguing (I’m at level seventy-six as of this writing), how about if we try and prioritize our day to make time for the most important parts of our work life – and to make time for each other?
 
From my own experience, I find that if I slow down and become a little less dependent on letting technology run my life, I’m much more productive. I also sleep better at night because I did not check e-mail right before going to bed.

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