Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
You might think that purchasing a new productivity tool would make you more productive. It can, if you do it right. Or it can sink your productivity entirely as you try to learn a new device, new software and evaluate things all at the same time.
Guess which one happened to me when I recently purchased an iPad?
Here is what I found (the hard way) about why I torpedoed my productivity and what I learned about how it could have been avoided.
The Fun Factor
Having a new device is fun. You get to explore what it can do, compare its features to what you had before, and marvel at the innovations. But spending time warping photos with a built-in photo retouching software isn’t really going to get you any further on your tasks.
New software can be particularly alluring, especially if you found yourself wanting software that wouldn’t run on your previous devices. Or if you became convinced that there was software out there that would do exactly what you needed. After all, haven’t ws all heard “there’s an app for that?”
Looking For A Better Way
Who hasn’t heard that a new device, phone, appliance will make your life wonderful? After all, if that sales premise didn’t work, we never would have had the Ronco-matic or salad shooter. So we acquire the new device, and spend time trying to incorporate those wonderful benefits into our lives. Or even worse, trying to change our lives to fit the device to gain the wonderful benefits.
How To Avoid The Pain Points
It is possible to get new technology and have it integrate smoothly. Here are some things to decide on to make it less of a time sink:
Set Your Expectations
Even if the device will revolutionize your world, it will not do so overnight. It will take time to get used to the device, as well as figuring out how to apply it. Set your expectations so that you integrate it slowly.
Minimize Process Changes
Most devices that promise revolutionary changes also include the caveat that you have to do things their way. While it may be tempting to embrace process changes with the goal of upping your game, not understanding why the changes are needed can derail you. Understand the parts of the new system before deciding if they fit your life and way of doing things before uprooting what you do now.
Use The Features You Know
Many new devices come with new features. That doesn’t mean you have to use them all, at least not right away. After all, you didn’t have the features before and you were managing, right? Start with using features that you know, or ones that are intuitive.
Don’t Try To Learn Everything At Once
When devices are a complete switch from everything you are used to, don’t try to learn everything at once. Pick the features you think will be the most useful to you, or the ones that are the basics for running the device.
Don’t Waste Time On Low-Value Activities
This was my downfall. “Look at how crisp the graphics are on the solitaire game!” Sure, things will be different. Pay attention to what you are doing, and realize when you are off on a rabbit trail that doesn’t provide real value. Try to limit your “fluff” activities so that you don’t get completely sidetracked.
My iPad came with a cost I didn’t anticipate: changing things up and looking at the device, I burnt through my buffer of blog articles. 🙂
By applying these tips, I have managed to get back on track.
Photo by meebldanphotos