Focus on Systems, not Technology

Future Digital Technology

Life Management should be system focused, not technology focused. Let me explain.

I had a friend in high school who could never accept his limitations. In fact, anytime we played a game, and he failed to score, he’d make the claim that ‘he was the perfect athlete, just his equipment was bad.’ Of course, no one believed that if he had the most advanced running shoes, he would have broken world records.

Myth: Technology is a Magic Bullet.

No, I am not a Luddite. Technology is powerful, wonderful, and amazing! I am the first to admit that I am thankful for my high-speed internet access and my smart phone; yet, technology cannot replace fundamental principles by itself.

I think most people would laugh at the low-tech claim that merely having access to pens, folders, and legal pads would result in one becoming organized; yet, many have embraced what I call the gadget fallacy. This is a belief that some electronic tool, such as a tablet or a software package will solve all their organization problems. When I managed a PC Support department at the turn of the century, I assisted with the procurement of over 450 different PDA devices for the firm; yet, few of individuals who received these suddenly transformed, even after uploading their contacts and calendars. I’d estimate 50% of the associates who purchased these devices stopped using them on a regular basis after several months.

Of course, the technology has continued to get better and better. When you think about what a Smart Phone can do now, it is possible to see it as a very advanced version of paper (perhaps, paper 3.0?). As a tool, if properly used, it can be extremely effective.

Alone technology is not enough. Yet, if integrated into a wider system, one that tackles inputs from both the analog and digital worlds, such tools can greatly enhance the overall process of Life Management.