One of the primary tenants of the technological revolution we are experiencing is time savings. We, as a workforce, have become dramatically more efficient. We can do more today than ever before, or so it would seem.
Forty years ago, when working for a manufacturer, an order would be telephoned in by the customer. The customer service representative would write the order by hand on an order form. The order form would then go to the typist, who would manually type the order onto a four part form.
The original would be filed in the customer’s file, two copies would go to shipping, one copy would go to accounting. The system worked, but it was labor intensive by today’s standards.
Today, that same order is entered into a computer and is intently and instantly available to shipping, accounting, the customer, and anyone else who needs visibility. Our manufacturing plant in Mexico can see the order within seconds.
In the U.S., workers worked the same number of hours in 2013 as they did in 1998; however, their economic output grew by 40%.
So why do I feel like I have so much less time today?
Has my appetite, for work increased?
I thought all this technology was supposed to make my life easier.
Well, it hasn’t. I now can communicate at the speed of light. I can reach distant places within hours. Speed has conquered distance and the planet is smaller, or least more comprehensible.
But I feel overwhelmed. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. Maybe I am overwhelmed by all the “shiny pennies.”
I don’t have an answer. I wish I did have some great pearls of wisdom to share.
Time management is the single most common issue I work with – for myself as well as for others.
And it is rather personal.
Too many choices.
Too many distractions.
A lack of focus.
No clear direction.
No distinct priorities.
At the turn of the previous century, a distinct outcome of the industrial revolution was the ability to break up complex manufacturing processes into clearly defined incremental steps. Assemble the steps and violà a product.