The pervasive nature of technology is heralded as both a good thing and a bad thing; in many ways technology is making our lives a lot more efficient yet we’re also finding ourselves living in a perpetual state of information overload - where we are living in reaction to constant emails, social media updates and other distractions that divert our attention.
In fact, it’s almost like we are so attached to our mobile devices that we have become addicted; today, we find people walking in the street on their phones, even whilst crossing the road, and the concept of “down time” where people would come home from work and switch off has been replaced by 24/7 contactability - meaning we are often living in a state of reaction to work messages and notifications, even when we are supposed to be at home resting, or enjoying social time with our friends and family.
This is particularly the case if you run a business from home. Today, even going on vacation, people will take their phones and be contactable by their boss - which is leading to an emotional state where people feel constantly on call, which is not good for one’s mental health or productivity.
That said, whilst the pervasiveness of apps do have the potential to disrupt our lives in a way that means we never get time to ourselves - they also have tremendous power to make our lives easier, and new apps are being developed and testing out using platforms such as globalapptesting.com on a daily basis.
Indeed, where would we be if we had to call for a taxi and wait around with no certainty of when it would come and how much it would cost; compared to apps such as uber.com that allow us to find out exactly when a taxi will be here and how much it will cost… we don’t even need the hassle of having to pay in cash.
Similarly, remember the days when we would have to take a wallet or purse out with us - today, we can simply tap our smartphone and pay for items with such convenience.
The most powerful way apps have affected our lives, however, is in their ability to automate processes within business. For instance, once upon a time, you would have had to sit in front of a computer screen and manually send an email to each person on your mailing list - whereas, with tools such as MailChimp this can be done for you in an automated way according to complex rules and filter that you define using a very simple interface. There are applications such as ClickFunnels that automate otherwise protracted and fragmented marketing processes, which can save you a lot of time and hassle, as using this simple interface you can create marketing funnels with great ease.
The world’s most successful people tend to use lists for everything they wish to achieve, as lists provide a focused set of priorities and activities that move them toward their goal. There are a wide variety of apps available to help with time management and organising tasks though Wunderlist, is one of the most popular.
There’s something psychologically rewarding about ticking items off of your to-do list as with each item you tick off, it creates a feeling of pride and personal power that builds momentum, as the more things you tick off by say 1pm - the more things you are likely to tick off in that day, because of the snowball effect, where it’s like an upward spiral of productivity.
Apps like Wunderlist also provide a great place to dump your thoughts. In most schools of thought relating to time management it’s essential to get things off your mind and put them on paper, as otherwise, we operate like a computer with too many windows open - things just feel too cluttered, which makes the computer run slowly and not access the right information at the right time in the most efficient way.
Evernote is a fantastic app to use for this, as you many innovative entrepreneurs will have an Evernote board titled “ideas” which is where they jot down their ideas that could be implemented in the future - thus freeing themselves of mental clutter and embracing the power of getting things off their mind in order to focus on the task at hand.
In summary, living in the digitally connected world that we do can feel overwhelming in terms of always being on call, yet used wisely, there are certain apps that can make business owner’s lives much easier by automating processes and helping you keep organised.