Electronic Modernization or
By Sandy Geroux
Is the electronic age thwarting
some of your goal achievement efforts?
Are you a visual person?
Do you like (or even need)
visual reminders for important long-term goals or short-term To Do
Do you have all the latest
gadgets, with everything neatly organized, but still have difficulty
getting tasks done - (or done on time)?
get me wrong - I love technology! It is a wonderful tool that
has helped us become organized more efficiently and quickly than we could
ever have done manually. It assists us in setting up regularly
scheduled tasks so they occur like clockwork; monthly mailings,
organizing and categorizing contact lists, and lead follow-up are now
contained in neat, orderly electronic systems we can access and
activate with the push of a button.
However, it’s taken me time to
realize that some of my activities and goals were not getting
accomplished simply because
they were electronic.
For example: All my contacts are
in ACT! This tool helps my Marketing Director and me keep in
contact with people on a regular basis. But I was recently
reminded of a call I needed to make, got distracted and forgot.
Several days later (after my brain had been rattling “something”
around that I couldn’t quite remember), I remembered that I had a
call to make, found time to look up the phone number in ACT! and made
the call – late. Part of the problem is that often when I do
remember to make a call, I’m not at my desk, so the phone number
that would enable me to make it during a free moment in the car or
another remote location isn’t handy.
it as frustrating to you as it is to me to have all this technology at
your disposal and still miss deadlines and goals?
problem is this:
The visual reminder is
gone: In the old days,
we’d have a written To Do List (or book) that sat on our desks (or
came with us everywhere we went), visually reminding us of our
daily/weekly/monthly tasks. With tasks now locked neatly away in
our electronic gadgets (often hidden inside purses, pockets and
briefcases), it is too easy to forget that we still have things that
should be done today. Unfortunately, no matter how good
your memory is, once too many items accumulate on that list, something
will get lost in the cracks.
The visual reward is
gone: Not only did the
list serve as a reminder of items to be accomplished, but it also
served as its own built-in reward, since visual people love to see
those items crossed off, checked off or otherwise visually marked as
done! The visual reward itself was a motivation to “get that
last item off your To Do List!”
Technology is not
always as convenient as we’d like to think:
If we’re not in the same place as our electronic information, even
if we remember that we have something to do (or someone to call), the
critical information we need is not where we are at the time we
remember it! Our days are crammed with calls, appointments,
paperwork, personal errands - you name it. There are days I
can’t sit in front of my computer until late at night, after I’ve
taken care of all my other tasks during the day! How many times
have you been in the car and remembered a call you had
to make, but the phone number (or other important information you need
to properly serve your customer) is “locked” inside your
desktop computer, making it impossible to complete the To Do item?
And lest we say, “Oh, but we should get a PDA and sync up our lists
and carry the PDA everywhere,” let us keep in mind that:
Not everyone can afford all
the gadgets available, especially at the beginning of a new business
Sometimes gadgets crash and
lose information (usually at the most critical moment - a la Murphy) -
or have no battery life left because we forgot to charge them
Sometimes gadgets get
“misplaced” - or just plain ole lost!
Maybe we haven’t had time to
sync our PDA with our desktop, so that new client’s phone number is
in our desktop - and not in our PDA
Some people don’t want to
carry 100 pounds of gadgets (not to mention all their chargers!)
everywhere they go
Some of us just aren’t
Here’s a solution that has
helped me and that I now recommend to my “visually-oriented”
Even if you have your To Do List in an electronic
Task List, print it out and place it on your desk (or on your
car seat if you have to leave your office). The list will
remind you of the tasks you must accomplish, while rewarding you
with visual satisfaction once items are completed. Print the
list for the entire upcoming week (so you don’t have to remember
- or make time - to do it every day). Even if not every item
is on the printed list, most will be (you can always hand-write
them in as they arise).
Even if you have a PDA, print your active client
list periodically. This way your information will be handy,
whether or not your PDA is updated, sync’d or charged - allowing
you to make critical phone calls when you need to do so. I
used to carry an alphabetical list with me all the time when I was
a realtor (and used it all the time) to make phone calls between
Keep a small wire-bound notebook or pad with you
at all times to write down To Do items as they arise. When
someone asks you to send a fax, jot a quick note with the fax
number in it. When someone calls on your cell (or leaves a
voice mail message), write the message in the To Do book, since
almost every phone call or message I receive results in something
“To Do” – don’t yours?
keeping some simple non-electronic things available at all
times (even if they’re based on electronic systems to keep them
organized), you increase the chances that your “neatly organized”
goals will actually get done, rather than simply remaining “neatly
organized - but incomplete” in your shiny electronic gadgets!
Read other articles and learn more
about Sandy Geroux.
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