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The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 11, 2016 • Issue 16:01:01

Boost Your Biz:
Dispense with bad tech habits in 2016

As members of the payments community, we are benefiting immensely from technological innovations that have occurred and continue to occur at a rapid pace. Who among us envisioned hand-held, line-busting POSs 20 years ago? Who grasped the wealth of data even small ISOs would be able to help merchants use to their competitive advantage? Who knew Silicon Valley startups would be knocking on our collective door, ready to collaborate to mesh payments and tech expertise in new ways?

Sometimes, however, the tools that were supposed to make our lives easier and more productive make life more cumbersome. Do you ever feel like your mobile devices make you too available, that you never have a minute of downtime, that your merchant customers will be miffed if you don't respond immediately to their text or voicemail messages? Indeed, incessant digital input can cause you to be constantly responding instead of strategizing, planning and executing.

Following are five habits that cause us to misuse rather than effectively employ technology. If you recognize yourself in any of these, strive to remedy them in 2016:

  1. Checking personal email and text messages at work: Sure, once or twice a day is OK, but every hour is just interrupting your work.
  2. Giving your work number and email to friends: If you give your work contact info to friends and family, it invites them to interrupt your work day. Will that help you to complete your business tasks any faster?
  3. Using the wrong tool: Only use a tool or device if it saves you time. If a pencil and paper will do, use that. Sometimes it's faster than the latest app.
  4. Responding immediately to messages: Strive to address all your e-mails and voice mail messages in one period of the day. Doing so will limit interruptions of your work and thought process. It will also allow you to give the callers and e-mailers your undivided attention, which reduces the chance of mistakes such as emailing the wrong person in your address book.
  5. Storing documents in multiple areas: Do you have an organized system for storing digital files, or do you sometimes save them on a computer hard drive, sometimes on a tablet device and sometimes in an e-mail program? Create a system and always store the same types of files in the same place, perhaps in the cloud. It will save you time searching for missing files.

You probably thought of other time-wasting habits you'd like to eliminate as you read through this list. If so, what can you do to shift your behavior in a more productive direction in the coming year? The point is to control technology and not let it control you. end of article

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