September 26, 2013
We all work in the digital world where we spend countless hours in front of a computer screen using the “tools” that have been created over the years to make our lives and our work “easier.” I would challenge, however, that this constant need for technology interaction in our day-to-day jobs has actually reduced our abilities to think critically, be creative, and ultimately be more efficient.
Sometimes we miss the big picture when we are so focused on the technology in front of us. Yes, spreadsheets are wonderful and tools such as PowerPoint allow us to capture ideas and create presentations. I am not saying that we need to abandon technology completely. However, sometimes, especially in the technology world, we need to step back and go analog.
If you walked into my office right now, you would see that I have turned my walls into many giant spreadsheets because some days I really want to look up and see the big picture. It allows me to analyze each campaign and gives each campaign top of mind presence. You do not have to go that extreme but there can be a lot of value in going analog in some capacity.
Here are 4 ways that going analog can help you be more creative and achieve greater results:
- Close your laptop and use a whiteboard to brainstorm with your team or even individually. Taking yourself away from the computer allows you to use your imagination and truly build on ideas. You are not just searching for other peoples’ ideas online. There is great power in the synergy of teams and the ideas they create when working together. Sometimes computers can act as a barrier to this synergy.
Presentation Development – Creating Framework
- When developing a presentation, the majority of people go straight to their computer, pull up PowerPoint or Keynote and start creating slides. The problem with this process is that you have now confined yourself to slides before you have spent time looking at the bigger picture. What is the message you are trying to convey? How can you best convey it? By going analog, you can create a framework for your presentation before creating slides. This will also make the slide making process easier in the long run with fewer revisions.
- In the digital world, we spend a lot of time analyzing Google analytics, keyword rankings, competitors, etc. It is important to go beyond the results and look at the big picture and the factors that contribute to those results. Sometimes this is easier with the results laid out in a tangible form in front of you.
- There are many programs out there on your computer and your phone that allow you to create to do lists to plan out your day. However, sometimes having a tangible list in front of you, helps you prioritize and keep your work on track. Even if you have a list online, make a habit of creating a “must do” list on paper and in view throughout your day.
There really is something about touching something tangible and rolling it around in your hand that leads to greater insight. Remember that our technical world makes the need to go analog even greater. Use the tools you have online but remember to go analog. The ability to pull yourself away from your computer will help you be more creative, think more critically, and also increase your efficiency in the long run.