Is Technology Killing Time Management?
There’s an app for that! I’ve recently been exploring new options for time management tools. It’s quite amazing the number of apps, programs or extensions (if you use Google chrome) available. There are many wonderful time tracking devices that can block unproductive websites, report how many days, hours, minutes, seconds you spend on each computer based activity every week.
Having tried lots of these and I have to say uninstalled almost all of them I have to ask the question, is technology killing time management?
Find Your True Motivation
I found the best time management tool was motivation. Why do you want to save time? What are you going to do with this miraculous gift? Are you going to spend it at work earning more money or spending time with your family and friends or maybe on community or charitable involvement? What really motivates you, floats your boat or makes you tick? If you can answer that, then you have the best time management tool there is.
Technology doesn’t help us determine our real motivation. Technology offers a band aid solution in a busy world. We feel we have made great progress if we can get back an extra 30 minutes a day. Let’s be honest, what do we really do with that extra 30 minutes? Have a coffee with friends, watch an extra TV show, play soccer with the kids or spend it working. The sad truth is most of us will spend that time here and there looking at something online. Facebook, YouTube and the thousands of sites that they link to, can eat up that extra time if we are not focused on using it for what is most important to us.
So, what is your motivation, your personal mission, your ultimate goal?
I’ll be honest; it’s not easy to work it out. You can start by asking yourself some simple questions:
- What makes your life really worth living?
- What is worth dying for?
- What would you like to hear people say about you at your own funeral?
- How or for what do you want to be remembered?
It’s important to differentiate between short-term needs and long-term ideals. Short-term the most important thing may be getting out of debt or building a solid retirement fund or growing your business. But are these in conflict with your personal mission to be the” best parent” that you can, be recognised as a top performer and have a strong positive community influence or to be engaged in life and explore the world?
When you know what your real motivation in life is, the decisions we make hundreds of times every day on how we use our precious seconds become much easier.
To get to the true motivation of what drives us requires significant soul-searching; however, technology is very useful for recording the details of our digital life. Analysis of how we spend our time shows how little of it goes towards our personal mission and should in theory make us reset our working life.
Without knowing why we really want to “save” time, our motivation will always be diluted. Technology provides a wonderful tool to capture information and steer us on a more productive course. A little nudge here and a little nudge there to keep us Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest “free” can make a difference to our focus and productivity.
Create Time For What Matters
When you know which activities get you closer to your true goal, and focusing on them, is where time is really created and not just saved. The Pareto principle is usually thought to focus on the 80/20 rule. What is often overlooked is the more focused ratios of 65/10 and 50/5. Where 80% of your output is created by 20% of your input you can substitute 65% output and 10% input and 50% of your output by 5% of your input. So if you really want to create massive amounts of time to spend on your ultimate goal this is where you need to focus. Finding your most productive 5% or 10% and focusing on these activities can make you exceptional.
Is technology killing time management? No, just confusing the heck out of it. We’ve become obsessed with the means, technology and not the end, our true purpose in “creating” time.