The internet has opened up a wealth of information and knowledge at our fingertips – when was the last time you used a Yellow or White Pages? At the same time this information superhighway has made it easier for us to communicate. Think about it. Email, chat, messaging, skype, facebook, twitter has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. It’s crazy to think that in most people’s life-time we’ve seen a drastic change in how we interact with the world and how the world interacts with us.
BUT – Has technology made us more efficient and effective at work or at home? According to Tim Ferriss, technology is the cure and the disease for a work-life balance. In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, he says that everyone can work four hours a week and be more efficient and effective in their job while having the rest of the time to focus on personal pursuits – he says that he only works four hours a week and makes more money in a month than in a year in his previous jobs.
I’m only in the first half of the book and what he says about technology is true – being able to work online can help us be anywhere in the world, but things like checking and replying to email is one of the biggest problems to being efficient and effective at work. In the latest chapter I’m reading Tim suggests accomplishing two priorities a day, and to check email only twice a day. I tried this last week and it was surprising how much I could get done without being distracted. I did get comments like “Did you read my email?”, but then again if every email is really “priority”, can you ever focus and get your own work done? The best thing I’ve read so far is his philosophy on happiness… it’s not money (although it helps) that leads to happiness – it’s about doing something that you want to do and not letting boredom lead your life.