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Maximize the Use of Technology While You Manage Work in Life!

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Some claim the increased use of computer technology has decreased productivity at work while employees ''waste their time'' on the computer. The truth is, our ability to ''take care of business'' has drastically increased since we have improved our computer skills and effectively applied these to our work. Whether we are entrepreneurs or work for corporate America, the appropriate use of technology has provided for the amazing opportunity to elevate businesses to competitive, cutting-edge, state-of-the-art enterprises while enabling global networking opportunities.

The amount of work we now encounter has geometrically increased since we have fully implemented internet practices. Remember the days in which we received occasional faxes and regular mail? Remember how we used to wait for days or weeks for a response? Our expectations for instant communication have exponentially increased as wireless internet or handheld devices can reach us anytime, anyplace around the world. Many of us receive hundreds of messages a day, and even if many of these messages end up in the junk email box, we still need to screen and filter these effectively. We could simply blame our sleepless nights on technology, just like we would blame a table for running into it, but instead we must use technology in our favor, maximizing its applied benefits and setting helpful boundaries so as not to become its slave. Following are some helpful tips I've used myself and suggested to others in order to effectively incorporate technology in our busy lives and work:

Tip #1: Learn specific computer programs that will help you in your line of work. For example, if you write articles, learn Word; if you work with databases, learn Excel; and if you prepare presentations, learn PowerPoint. If you don't know how to use a computer, it is never too late to start. If you are a pro, see how you can go on to the next level. If you don't know any of these programs and you believe you should, hire someone who is proficient in the use of them. Delegate (effectively) whenever you can.

Tip #2: Maximize the use of technology to design your brand. Although you don't need to be a webmaster to have a website, you still want to make sure the "face" of your site clearly reflects your business "identity." Work closely with your brand designer and seek to learn the general aspects of effectively running your site. Learn how to maximize the benefits of having a website.

Tip #3: If you are overwhelmed with emails, consider using different emails for different purposes and establish filters to block junk email or spam. If you have an assistant, coach him or her to prescreen and filter your numerous emails. Train your assistant as to what messages you need to attend to.

Tip #4: Block your work times while at your office or home office and concentrate on one thing at a time. If you need to complete an assignment or project, anticipate how long it will take and do not allow for interruptions. Avoid falling into the trap of answering too many phone or email messages during this time. Concentrate on the work you need to do.

Tip #5: If you have a home office, make sure you effectively set up work and resting times. Decide how many days and hours you will work and take the appropriate breaks. Many are initially thrilled to work from home but eventually dread the seemingly endless working days. When it's time to "close shop," close your home office door and enjoy the rest of the day with your loved ones.

Tip #6: For the business traveler: If you travel for a couple of days, consider using a wireless handheld device to stay connected instead of carrying your notebook everywhere. Answering important messages briefly maximizes your efficiency. You can always send a longer response upon your return. If there is any issue that needs to be resolved immediately, you can still use your cell phone or wireless device. Avoid establishing an immediate response system (unless your work relates to providing for emergency responses). Instead, establish a response time and stick to it: for example, phone and email responses within 24 hours, excluding weekends. Communicate this decision to your clients.

Tip #7: If you are traveling for several days, keep in contact with your family and friends. Consider connecting via phone or the internet. This may be particularly helpful if your have children (and a spouse!) waiting for your return.

About the Author

Dr. Corá is president of The Executive Health & Wealth Institute, Inc. Her expertise in "work in life" management inspired her to design a powerful program assisting executives in leading under pressure, providing for effective strategies to maximize peak performance and productivity while maximizing health and well-being. Her energized enthusiasm, strategic focus, and innovative style are qualities she uses constantly as an expert consultant, executive coach, and speaker, making her a key collaborator of Fortune 500 corporations and international organizations. She is a licensed medical doctor, mediator, has a master's in business administration, and is a professional member of the National Speakers Association.
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