Overcoming Frustration with Technology
For whatever reason, when we get a new boost in productivity, whether that be from a tool, technology or technique…we quickly forget how much more efficient it’s made us. It’s human nature. It’s like the commuter who gets angry about how bad traffic is, but forgets what a pain it was to wait for the bus. Or the cell phone user who complains about a bad connection, and forgets about the days when he had to fish for spare change to make a call from a pay phone.
It’s much the same with technology.
If your plan for your online business is in a long term one, there’s no getting around it: You will have to find a way to overcome the frustrations you will have with technology. It’s inevitable.
Here are some simple tips for dealing with the frustration
Let’s start with an analogy: When you’re driving a car at 100 miles per hour, a small thing like a bumblebee hitting the windshield can cause you to lose control and crash. How does this translate to online frustration?
When you’re straining your systems and technology to work faster and better for you, the smallest technical glitch can have a bigger impact on your performance than seems logical. That’s because you are pushing for “more, faster and better” in the first place.
The solution is to slow down. What this means for you as a carbon-based being is: take a stretch break, breathe a couple deep breaths and generally loosen up. Lighten your grip on the intensity you are trying to sustain, both for yourself and your systems.
Concretely, this may mean taking care of your email just a little bit slower. Typing not quite as fast. Or giving yourself an extra hour to set up your new audio recorder. The extra time spent is worth it if it means you don’t have to clean up a tangle later. This may seem counterproductive, but it gives your tools time to do their work for you. Sometimes you have to slow down to get to your destination sooner.
Online frustration is something most people experience from time to time, and this includes your suppliers or contractors. If you have a virtual assistant, you likely know this first hand. The next time you, a colleague or assistant experiences frustration with technology, suggest they “change channels”. This means exactly what you think it means, that is, switch tasks.
If your technology is acting up, try switching to an activity that comes naturally to you before going back to solve the problem. There’s no point forcing something to work when it is resisting you. Go where the energy is flowing by changing channels.
Yes, a little reminiscing can be the perfect medicine when you’re struggling with technology. As you try to set up your email account for the 12th time, consider the fact that just 10 years ago, thousands of small business owners did not have email, and did all their correspondence by mail, telephone or fax. Do you remember your “mail inbox” in the last office you worked in? How about letter openers, overflowing voicemail boxes or wet sponges to seal piles of envelopes? Remember when we used to get paper cuts on a regular basis?
With the increasing growth of the personal development movement in the last 10 years, many of us have learned to become more self-aware and handle anger, frustration and other strong emotions with techniques such as meditation, journaling or even prayer.
But because the Internet is a new-ish modality, sometimes we forget to apply these relaxation techniques to handle “cyber” stress. The next time you have the technology blues, stop. Don’t struggle. Instead, become child-like — slow down and enjoy, play awhile, and laugh a little about the wonder of it all.