Monday, August 25, 2014

Do Your Co-Workers Consider You a Digital Downer?

Ever heard of the song, "Don't Drag Me Down?" It does exist though you may not have heard it and I guarantee you that's how some colleagues feel about their fellow co-workers in the area of digital competency!

Do you negatively impact other's time because of your lack of digital proficiency?  I know there are many that could answer yes to that question.  With technology, (i.e. working digitally) being front and center in our work lives, it's now an imperative to be skilled in the use of certain key components.

I am what you consider a "non-tech" techie. I'm not a coder. I am though, someone enjoys technology, who thinks there is cool factor to it and someone who wants to embrace anything that can impact people's lives for the better.

I am also someone who is an adopter in the sense that I am not in denial about the role it plays in business and more specifically in the lives of the everyday worker. So I expect myself to learn and become competent in the use of key digital tools and functions. In my view you're either an adopter or a resister and resistance impacts time and productivity for yourself and others!

Do you resist assimilating technology (digital tools) into your life?  If so, you will be left behind as some of the things I am about to share with you, grade school kids know how to use with great skill!

So what should you consider as being the fundamentals of digitally competency?  Well there's a list, but I'll start with 3 that have the most impact:

1. Email -- Whatever program (email client as they say in the tech world) you use, know all it's capabilities.  I say in my time and organizational management seminar most of us know only how our email functions based on when we first started using it.  So if you use Outlook for example, do you know all it's capabilities and how you can utilize them to be more efficient in it's use?

Additionally, have you created a customized system by which you manage your email? I say customized because it's going to be different for everyone. News flash... there is not "one way" that everyone should handle email. We all have different thinking and decision-making styles, which I address in my book Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed.

2. Using a Browser -- I know for some this may sound ridiculous, but trust me, I know folks who don't know how to use a browser and know little of it's full capabilities.  So let's start with something as simple as when you download a document, where does it go and how do you retrieve it?  Do you know what browser applications and extensions are and which ones can help you in the work you do?

3. Information Management -- Once the world wide web was born, we entered the information age and when mobile capabilities were introduced, we moved into the age of information explosion.  Many of us search, access and manage information (or try to) on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. If you're like me, in the beginning, my most common phrase was, "Now where did I put that?" Then the search began as I tried to find it. Two minutes went by...five minutes went by -- "oh yeah, there it is!," I'd proclaim in the heat of frustration.

One of many helpful information management functions now available is tagging (this is the new word for the old school word "indexing"). You simply attribute certain key words to anything so that you can find it quicker.  I use a Mac and tagging is now an integrated element of it's operating system.

Additionally there are ways you save information through your browser with a simple right click and then be able to access it from all your devices. Also from a browser, you can send an email, share it on social media, save it to an information management application like Evernote, and even send it to Kindle. 

By the way, I see a browser as an essential digital partner. It's capabilities go way beyond, "this is how I get on the web." The one you choose to use and the capabilities it offers can make all the difference in your digital efficiency. And yep, different browsers have different capabilities.

For some reading just this list, it might feel a bit overwhelming. My suggestion is to start with one thing -- one area (like the theme from my professional development blog Brand Me! -The 1% Edge) and then make it a goal to learn and apply one new element once a month. 

And here is the exceptionally good news, just about anything you need to learn in this regards can be found on YouTube...and it's free!!!   So there!  Now, no excuses for increasing your digital competency to save time and increase your productivity for yourself and others! Commit to no longer being a digital downer!
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I consider time and organizational management 1 of 5 individual employee as well as management core competencies  -- learn more here


If you haven't yet gotten your copy, you'll want to pick one up: Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book -  The Seminar