Millennials have rightly earned the title “digital natives.” We grew up during the explosion of video games. We saw the entire transition to digital music. Some of us even remember having to manually rewind VHS tapes before retuning them to Blockbuster.
Many of us were in high school or college when the original iPhone debuted in 2007. Steve Jobs knew something that the rest of us would learn later: the digital world was about to drastically change.
Since the debut of the iPhone, the digital landscape-especially regarding mobile devices-has changed significantly, Do you remember that the original iPhone didn’t initially have an App Store? Do you remember when Gmail was still in “beta”?
Probably not. But that’s OK. Today’s digital world is changing at a rapid pace. And since we are so familiar with technology, we are quick to try every new gizmo that is released.
The desire to stay up to date with the latest tech trends has infiltrated our work lives. We want to adopt the latest app or device in order to get more done in a better way. Our fear of missing out drives us to try whatever is newest, latest, and greatest.
But even with the latest devices, we still wind up not getting more done. We mistakingly assume that productivity is directly tied to having the latest device or newest app.
Why is that?
Simple: we are not viewing technology correctly.
How should we view it, then?
As a tool to achieve a goal.
Our problem is that we think technology will solve our problems and accomplish our tasks for us. And then we wind up frustrated and disappointed. Technology can only accomplish what we decide.
We need to shift our thinking and realize technology is only as good as the way we choose to use it. It is up to us to determine first what we want to accomplish, and then decide what tool fits our work best.
This is something I’ve learned from my dad. He has been a woodworker for over 30 years. It has primarily been a hobby, but he occasionally has made items to sell. His workshop is filled with all kinds of tools. We joke that at Christmas we just buy what is on his Amazon wishlist, because we have no idea the purpose of the new tools he wants.
But he knows. He knows that the tool will help him accomplish exactly what he wants to get done.
The same is true of our technology. Certain apps or devices won’t magically solve our productivity problem, just like buying a new saw will magically make us a master carpenter. Our productivity problem is a thinking problem. We can’t get more done with a new device if we don’t know how exactly we will use the device.
I’ve seen people be more productive with a legal pad than many others with every connected device available. It has nothing to do with the tool, but everything to do with the way you use the tool.
So before you rush out and buy the latest thing on release day, decide how you will use it. Then buy it, and begin doing great work.