By embracing technology, we can set up a new business quicker, we can reach across the globe cheaper and more effectively than ever before, but something is wrong with this open-ended love affair with adopting technology.

The promise is that technology will make tasks smaller and easier to do. We will gain greater control over our enterprises and lives. We will make more time, save money and compete on a more even footing with the ‘big guys’. We are told that the more technology (Tech) we use, the more effective/efficient/successful we will become.

I am beginning to doubt this is the case…

The advances in technology have enabled small business to operate more akin to big business (think CRM, marketing, sales automation, communications and customer service). It has also given us the ability to do a lot of things that we never needed or wanted to do in the past. Tech has made many of the lousy jobs easier, but they are still lousy.

We can do more for ourselves, by ourselves than ever before: accounting and invoicing, marketing and follow up, sales, advertising, design, photography. Tech gives us a lot more tools and a lot more things to get done.

Now we have to know how to add pages to a website, take pictures and apply filters on our phone, alter HTML font sizes, create and get ads accepted, do Facebook posts, blog, YouTube, update Pinterest and some of us even still Tweet. This all takes time, effort and exposes us to the numerous rabbit holes that the internet in general and social media is designed to send us down.

The downside is that by enabling us to do more, the more we need to learn how to do, and the more, we must do.

We either muddle through by ourselves, or we pay for a ‘You beaut, only $2 000 today, program on how to use Pixels with Facebook ads so you can retarget customers better’. Instead of focussing on what makes our ‘magic’, our point of difference, in this ever more homogenised world many of us are having to master a whole set of new skills. My ‘to-do’ list has grown because Tech supposedly lets me do more things myself … Instead of freeing me, it is tying me down.

Take a breath. Step back and look at where you are spending your time with Tech then ask, “Is this bringing me closer to my financial/service/personal goals?” If the answer is, “No”, then it is time to do a Tech ‘to -don’t’ list.

Create a table with 6 columns with the following headings:

  • All I do.
  • What I hate/dislike doing.
  • What I like/love doing.
  • What only I can do.
  • Date to be rid of things I hate doing
  • How I will achieve this.

First list all the Tech things that you do in the first column. Then split these into the next three columns dependent on whether it is something you ‘hate doing’, something you ‘like doing’ or is something ‘only you can do’. Next, for all the items in your ‘hate doing’ column add a ‘drop-dead’ date for when you are going to have ceased doing these by. Then lastly, put down ‘how’ you will get rid of these ‘hate doing’ items.

You may stop doing some things entirely; you might use a Virtual Assistant (just be sure that the time they save you is actually used to drive income) or you might be stuck with some no matter what.

I have dumped Trello, Pinterest, SnapChat, a host of shopping apps, What’s App and Voxer. I now ‘Mind Map’ on a whiteboard, not software …

The important thing is to declutter your life in terms of the lousy tasks that Tech has made only slightly less lousy and begin to refocus on what is truly important to you and your business (and dare I say, to your clients and customers?).

We all started our businesses to do something; change the world, pay off debts, marry the human of our dreams. Whatever the reason, ‘that’ is our real job, our ‘real’ calling, it is not doing lousy tasks just because Tech has made them a bit less lousy.

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