Working the Low Tech Way
We’ve been conditioned to believe that technology is the solution to our productivity problems. Not so! Stepping away from your technology for a day can make you more productive.
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You see, unlike my laptop, my backpack had severely limited capacity. So each morning, I had to look over my to-do list and my calendar and consciously decide my priorities. “Today, I want to work on the Quicken credit card, writing performance reviews for my team, and learning C++.” Then I would grab my notebook for writing out code, my performance review notebook, and my C++ manual, pop them into my backpack, and off I’d go to the park.
Paradoxically, the fact that my laptop can be used to work on anything makes me much sloppier in my prioritizing. When I was forced to make decisions each day, I was better at focusing on what’s important.
Bring Reference Material
Not only would I bring along the tools for my projects, I’d bring along reference material. If I were working on performance reviews, I’d have to decide what I needed to do a good job. If my team members had 360-degree reviews, notes from conversations we’d had, and lists of modules they had worked on, I’d find and bring the relevant information.
Paradoxically, the fact that my laptop can hold 500 GB of information and access the entire human race’s knowledge base makes me much sloppier in my decision-making. When I was forced to choose and bring reference material each day, I was better at identifying what information I needed and knowing in advance how I intended to use it to get work done.