Taking Control of Technology Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 134

This week’s reflection point: Does it ever feel like technology is controlling you, rather than empowering you? If so, it’s easy to understand why.

We live in a world where machines seem to conquer all. Back in 2011, IBM’s “Watson” computer beat out Jeopardy!‘s two best players to win over $70,000 in a landslide victory. And since 1996, when the first computer beat the top-rated chess player in the world, computers have been yelling “check-mate!” at strategy competitions around the globe.

It might sound like an impending machine takeover, but this rise in technology intelligence actually bodes well for you and your business. The question of whether technology controls you, or you control technology, comes down to one factor: Your ability to smartly leverage whatever technologies make you more efficient.

The number one pitfall to avoid is using too much of the wrong technology. Social media misuse is one of the most common examples of this. Many businesspeople bury themselves in dozens of social networks and sharing platforms, eager not to miss out on any of them.

But in the process, these professionals end up hurting their productivity. Precious time is wasted. Spread too thin, these misguided social users do a poor job on every social network. Instead, the key is to do a fantastic job on a few social networks that are right for your business audience.

Done right, technology can skyrocket your productivity, efficiency, profits and inbound attraction. The appropriate programs, platforms, and apps can have a “cloning” effect, enabling you to accomplish multiple tasks at once with no extra effort. It’s like having two or more of you—and what could be better than that?

The key takeaway here is not to be a slave to technology. Be smart about which technologies you use. Before adopting a new or popular technology, first make sure that it’s right for you. Don’t adopt just for the sake of adopting. The technologies you use should enable you to more efficiently stay in touch with your clients, reach your content to the best audience, and collaborate with your business partners.

Start taking control by identifying just one or two technologies that make sense for your business today. Embrace those technologies. Strategize how to leverage them to increase your efficiency. Then, if they’re successful, consider moving on to a third or fourth technology.

With this approach, you’ll save yourself from feeling controlled by technology, and instead be empowered by it. It’s never too late to rise up against the machines.

Unless, of course, you happen to be on an episode of Jeopardy!

This week’s tip: Instead of burying yourself in technologies, take control of them. Smartly leverage the right technologies that make you more efficient to reduce your costs and labor intensity while increasing your productivity, revenues and global reach.

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