Five Ways Technology Can Cost You Your Job
Modern technology is a wonderful thing, but it can be harmful for you in the work place. If you are not good at budgeting your time. There are hidden dangers that hide behind these modern-age gizmos that can eat up your time if you don't use them in moderation. While most of us are worried about our children wasting time playing games or watching television, it turns out that the adults are just as bad (if not worse) when it comes to irresponsibility. Here are five ways technology can cost you your job if you aren't careful (and some ways to get around it)!
Facebook (Or Any Social Networking Software)
Let's face it. Facebook is a phenomenon that no one ever anticipated. This realization hit me when my father-in-law requested me to be one of his "friends". There is so much to do in this electronic playland that you can easily lose a day or more bouncing around from newsgroups, online chatting, and flash-based games. Facebook is not the only guilty party, either. Any social networking software can be a trap to your time. A good example is the lost hours I have spent perusing YouTube, Hulu, and even LinkedIn. Just because there is a business application to what you are looking at doesn't mean that it won't suck hours of your time away from making money. It's bad enough if you work for someone else. In that case, it is only a matter of time before your boss finds out, but when you are working for yourself, the only person losing is you! (Incidentally, don't count this blog as a waste of your time!)
Texting On The Job
Texting in your car is just stupid. Texting at work can be just as bad, but at least you won't kill anyone. When you find yourself working on the job, put the phone on vibrate - or better yet, turn it off. You don't need to be in constant contact with everyone you know. You are working. It isn't social hour. What people are texting you can wait til your break or lunch hour. If you keep getting texts throughout the day, it breaks your concentration and causes you to mentally lose focus. If you were in surgery and your doctor got a text during the time you were under the knife, would you want him to answer it?
This is very similar to texting while at work and is probably my biggest problem. I work on the computer, have my email program open almost all the time, and every time a number pops up telling me I have email, I switch programs to see who is contacting me. This is very time consuming during the day, because I will sometimes get 100 emails or more during working hours. Each time you stop to see what email has arrived takes a few precious seconds away from your work schedule and - just like the texting dilemma, destroys your concentration. Solution: Only look at your email at scheduled times, like at the top of the hour or even every two hours. It can wait and you won't triple the time of doing one of your projects.
Back in the old days, people would find themselves daydreaming out the office window. Today, we have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips and there is plenty to keep us amused. I wrote an article called The Five Best Ways To Waste Time At Work (which is a great post to look at if you are trying to waste time). This gives an excellent overview of what lengths people will go to to blow off working. I really don't see a problem with checking out the surroundings in which you do your job and the internet is one of them. However, you should do so in moderation and not in lieu of working on a deadline. This type of behavior is best kept to when you are at home and you are trying to get out of shoveling the driveway. The snow is going to melt anyway!
Oh, the bane of many a geek's very existence. The online game. It comes in many names: World of Warcraft, Everquest, The Sims, or Farmville - yet they slow down the progression of every person trying to escape their own realities. Don't get me wrong. I love playing games online (or from the console), but you have to know when to log off and start reality. I am guilty of this, as well. I have a huge feeling of guilt when I spend the weekend leveling my new rogue on WoW (that's slang for World of Warcraft) from 1-20 in two days, but I do it anyway. These games can totally eat up your time. "Stay away from them" is my best advice. "Do as I say and not as I do" is probably a little bit closer to the fact. In truth, just play them in moderation, don't let your kids starve because you are on a dungeon mod, and make sure you pay your electric bill so they don't shut off your game.