Don’t Let Tech Overload Kill Your Productivity

“Everything is awesome!”

Although you’ll probably want to kill me for putting the Lego Movie’s song in your head, please overlook my blatant use of a catchphrase and read long enough for me to explain why it’s important.

It’s exactly how I feel when searching for a new technology, apps, programs and services for my business. Everything really IS awesome! I start reading a marketing email that I know is designed to get me to take an action. I’ve written those emails and I know what they are trying to do!

But what happens when technology stops being helpful and actually hurts your productivity? What happens when your tech obsession leads to a life overwhelmed by constant connectedness? Then it’s time to learn how to be productive with the least amount of technology possible.

Look for Integrations

The amount of technology I use on a daily basis can be overwhelming. My daily tasks include managing social media groups, creating marketing materials and tracking website analytics.

The amount of technology I use on a daily basis can be overwhelming. My daily tasks include managing social media groups, creating marketing materials and tracking website analytics. I’d love to have one dashboard for every app but that’s not feasible. Instead, I look for any service, app or platform that works with what I already use.

Zapier is the current king of integrations and can be found on many platforms. It’s what helps marketing solutions like Leadfeeder share new leads to a Slack team member or add new leads in Google Sheets as rows. Sales leads are the lifeblood of any business and need to be managed in a timely manner and an integration like this helps you manage sales funnels without wasting any time.

Take a look at the tools you use and see if any of them can be integrated to save time. Consider switching if your favorite technology doesn’t offer time-saving alternatives.

Streamline Simple Tasks

I have around a dozen email addresses. This sounds insane but I juggle a lot of roles, including personal, business, non-profit and community work. The work platforms I use every day include Skype, Trello, Wrike, Facebook, and Outlook. And that’s not even a complete list! The point is I waste a lot of time working online jumping from platform to platform. It would be great if I could integrate every site/app/service but that’s not possible (at least right now). Instead, focus on streamlining simple tasks whenever you can.

Here are a few time-saving ideas for two of the biggest time wasters:

Email

It would be easy if all email used the same platform like Gmail, but that’s not realistic for most people. If you only have a few emails to manage, follow the plan in Combine Your Email Accounts Into a Single Inbox: Here’s How. Another option is a service like Freshdesk that was built for customer service and allows users to manage multiple email accounts in one place.

Social Media

Between scheduling posts, answering questions, engaging in the conversation and tracking followers behavior, social media productivity can be a real problem. A social media management tool like Hootsuite has one dashboard where you can manage multiple pages/groups on more than one platform.

Ask the Right Questions

I understand the obsession with technology and trying to find the perfect solution to manage everything in our business. Who doesn’t want easy? Yet, five easy options probably won’t add one perfect all-in-one tool.

Before you read the next email giving you one last chance to buy their amazing product, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my current technology do the same thing?
  • What’s the learning curve?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Do I really need it?

Take marketing automation solutions like GetResponse for example. It offers the following features:

  • Landing page builder
  • Autoresponder
  • Webinar tool
  • Cart abandonment
  • Shopping cart integration

Instead of paying for an email autoresponder and a cart abandonment solution from someplace else, it makes sense to find an all-in-one tool. Not only does it save money, but think of all the time you’ll save using one tool instead of five.

Quality Not Quantity

I can share a million tools and helpful tips. I can even explain why productivity can suffer when you’re overwhelmed by technological choices. Yet, none of that really matters when you’re mesmerized by every launch and fall under its “last chance” spell.

Navigating new technology can be overwhelming especially since you need some of these tools to run your business. Every new feature can’t be the perfect solution for all my business problems. At some point, you have to start managing tech overload and its impact on your productivity. And you have to learn how to say ignore all the shiny tech promises.

Because when it comes to productivity, you’re looking for quality, not quantity.

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Liesha Petrovich
LIESHA is a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. A late-blooming academic, she's happiest teaching business at UoPeople. Liesha is the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title - but it's a metaphor mom!). She talks business at Microbusiness Essentials and everything else at Liesha Petrovich.com
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