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We live in an age of "instant on" news ... someone stumbles in remote part of the world and the news in tweeted, blogged, instant messaged and emailed around the world in seconds.
We live in an age where people are addicted to their PDAs and other devices.
Tools that have the power to make us more productive can just as effectively kill our productivity, with Attention Deficit Disorder meaning we can't concentrate on a task for more than a few minutes without checking email, looking for texts, seeing what the news is like. Those most afflicted have that warning whenever they get an email ... its nuts!!!
There is no faster paced industry than the staffing industry ... we are competing with hundreds of other agencies to find and sell the great candidates on our jobs. Yet if we are constantly driven by the emails coming in how can we be focused on understanding the nuances of the job, developing a strategy for finding candidates, developing the best messages to put the jobs in best light and executing on those plans?
How can management be coaching their teams, developing client relationships, executing against their plans and strategies etc when they are driven by their technology? The phone rings ... they answer! The PDA buzzes and they check it (losing the thread of what they were working on seconds before ... or worse still, killing the conversation they were having!)
Good meetings harness the power of a group to find answers to problems, decide on future direction, exchange ideas and generally bring value ... yet in almost every meeting I attend there are a large (majority?) number of people checking their PDAs constantly, sending texts and generally disengaging from the meeting. Are those messages THAT important?
Technology should be a tool ... use it like that.
Just because the phone rings it doesn't mean you need to answer it. (Of course those in customer service roles should answer their phones at least 50% of the time, and not let voicemail be the way they decide whether to call back .... another blog for another day!)
Turn OFF those annoying indicators when you get an email or text!
Turn off your PDA when in meetings.
Don't check the news and your stock ticker multiple times a day ... surely lunch time is good enough?
It is time to wrest control back from your technology and take control of your day!
PS. Don't ever assume I have read an email that came into my inbox just minutes ago!!!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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