Manage Technology Before it Manages You

Reading Time – 5 minute 

In 2020 technology become a communication lifeline.  It was used for education, business, family communications, school and social events.  It became the most important method of communication and entertainment.  Zoom took over life.  Will this be a difficult habit to change? Do you want to reduce your reliance on technology?  Did technology get you the results you wanted for your life? The ideas and thoughts in this 2014 article by Harold Taylor still hold true for 2021.  How are you going to manage your technology going forward?


Who manges what

By Harold Taylor

Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He has published over 17 books and presented over 2000 seminars.

An online poll of over 1000 Canadian adults released last Saturday by Angus Reid/Vision Critical (Toronto Star, January 26, 2013) revealed that 90% of the respondents believed their smartphones made their lives more convenient. So convenient, evidently, that 30% of them went online before getting out of bed, 31% at the dinner table, 29% in the washroom and 42% before falling asleep at night,

Smartphones may be smart, but they lack intelligence. Why are we so willing to be at the beck and call of an idiot? The Internet leads anywhere, which for the undisciplined means nowhere. Why browse away the hours? Email, computer games and social media are endless, but our time is not. Why do we behave as though we will live forever?

Smartphones maybe smart, but lack intelligence. Harold Taylor Share on X

Research shows that the Internet and digital technology can have a negative impact on our ability to learn, focus, pay attention, memorize and relate to others on a personal basis. It also gobbles up our time, encourages busyness and multitasking and stifles creativity.

The futures of our business, personal lives, and our nations do not depend on the development of technology, but on our ability to manage the technology we develop.

Technology is important, it can’t be avoided, you’re reading this blog, lol.

Comment on how will you change your use of technology? 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

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  1. Diane N Quintana on August 9, 2021 at 9:26 am

    We all use technology – you have to to do business in these times. What you don’t have to do is allow technology to run your life. I believe in a time and place for technology. Limiting where, when, and why you use technology I think is the key to using it efficiently. As you say, it is not intelligent.

    • Julie Stobbe on August 9, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      I agree with you. Using technology for business is necessary. Perhaps having other activities that don’t involve technology can create a balance. My problem is I listen to audiobooks so during my “other activities” I am usually listening to a book and still using technology.

  2. Sabrina Quairoli on August 9, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Technology is very useful. When needing to replace a piece of technology, it is a great time to make sure you are using it to better your life. I will revisit systems and uses of technology when I decide to purchase a new piece of equipment, like a laptop or tablet. Since I am already on a learning curve to learn the new technology, I figure it makes sense to change everything at that time, so I do not have to modify my tasks again. I’m lazy that way. =) lol

    • Julie Stobbe on August 9, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      Replacing technology can be a bit tricky. Do you need to upgrade or want the new model? Especially with laptops, I buy one that does what I need it to do and not the top of the line with “more power” than I need. I am finding phones to be a difficult technology to buy. There are so many apps you can put on a phone and then you need more memory and a more expensive phone. As you say deciding what systems you need is very important to determine before buying the technology.

  3. Seana Turner on August 9, 2021 at 10:50 am

    We were just talking about this over dinner the other night. I think younger generations will be forced to find better ways to manage (and “boundary”) technology because we just aren’t designed to live on call 24/7. I think this perpetual connectedness is having negative consequences on our emotional state.

    Love seeing Harold and his expertise here on your site!

    • Julie Stobbe on August 9, 2021 at 7:22 pm

      I agree. It is easy for older people to decide how much connectedness to have because we have experienced zero to 100%. If you only know 100% you have a harder time realizing there can be another way to think about technology. I love saying to someone “what do think about….” and brainstorming ideas and joking about possibilities. Too many times someone pulls out a phone to give the correct answer.

  4. Linda Samuels on August 9, 2021 at 10:51 am

    What a great question- How will you change your use of technology? I’m hyperaware of how our gadgets (my gadgets) have infiltrated my life in so many ways. The other day, my husband noticed a pay phone on the side of a store. I can’t remember the last time I used a pay phone. I carry my phone where ever I am, which means I’m constantly connectable. It wasn’t always that way.

    And with the pandemic, I pivoted my business to be virtual only. So in fact, I’m using technology (Zoom, FaceTime, Skype) even more than I used to. But to balance that, I’m also getting outside more, walking more, and engaging in other non-tech activities. Like everything there are pros and cons…and balance.

    • Julie Stobbe on August 9, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      I am one of those people who will leave my phone behind if I don’t need it for safety reasons. I love when people can’t get me immediately. Most people I know go “crazy” when they forget their phones.

  5. Julie Stobbe on August 9, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    For me, being a professional organizer and working in person with clients gives me large blocks of time without technology. I don’t respond to my phone when I am with a client. I am thankful for technology when it comes to spelling and grammar. It has made me a better writer most of the thyme. lol

  6. Janet Schiesl on August 10, 2021 at 7:26 am

    Technology has its positives and negatives. I like that I don’t have to travel to see someone. We can always zoom. That works sometimes, but not for sales. My team meets over zoom and we love that. We see each other enough in person. Our company meetings are shorter with no commute.

    • Julie Stobbe on August 14, 2021 at 11:10 am

      I do like using zoom for committee meetings and “coffee meetings”. Reducing the travel time for those types of meetings makes me feel very happy.

  7. Julie Bestry on August 11, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Great question.

    While some technology is essential, it’s not hard to see where it can be detrimental. Email is a great way to communicate, but if we depend on email instead of telephones (as the GenZ and Millennials do), we lose something ineffable in our skills at building relationships and communicating effectively.

    Social media lets us catch up quickly with news and opinions, be aware of certain trends, and find things to laugh at, but it also compels us to keep reading for novelty and to get that addictive dopamine hit, and it purveys so much dangerous misinformation.

    Time management apps are everywhere, and we do a great job of putting data into them, but do they really contribute to us getting more done, or just being more tidily aware of what goes undone?

    My first week with an iPad was at a NAPO conference back in 2013. What I remember most is that I remember SO LITTLE. I was so focused on the screen, on live-tweeting, on catching up with email that I normally didn’t get to see when traveling (without a computer or smart phone). I have fewer photos, a many fewer memories. One week in, and I realized tech could gobble me up if I weren’t careful. (And yet, still, I’m not always careful.)

    Thank you for the important reminders, Julie!

    • Julie Stobbe on August 14, 2021 at 11:08 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Productivity apps like any other app are good in specific situations and knowing what to use is important. “Playing” with them uses up precious time for other activities. I had the same experience using an Ipad at a conference. I did ohter things than just listen to the presenter.

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