Home Office Efficiency, Creativity and the Human Element: Technology is NOT the Solution

Part 1 of 2

As a small business owner, freelancer, or tele-communter you need to be efficient with the many aspects of your home office and business. The marketplace keeps selling you on technology as the answer. If you use the “right” computer, smartphone, tablet, peripheral, software or social media your work will be easier, faster and more profitable.

I recently saw a video on professional and personal productivity in the future. 

Two things struck me about this vision of our technological future:

  1. How everyone’s choices were preselected by a computer, from the traveling business woman to her child at home.
  2. How is wasn’t until 3:37 minutes into this 6:17 minute video that there was any human-to-human interaction – and that conversation was to supplement what was portrayed on a computer tablet.

As a micropreneur you provide something that is unique, that larger businesses can’t provide. People are looking for customized solutions to their problems. That is why people are knocking on your virtual door.

Problem solving is creativity.

This requires time away from your computer.  Technology as the source of all solutions is a major flaw in this video vision of the future.  John Cleese (of “Fawlty Towers” and Monty Python fame) gave a talk on the two essentials of true creativity. Neither of these needed to be plugged-in. http://www.thesmarterhomeoffice.com/2010/john-cleese-creativity-space-time-boundaries/ Nancy Duarte author of Slide-ology tells you the first step of creating a Powerpoint presentation is to turn off your computer and work with pencil and paper. Ethan Watrall and Jeff Siarto of Head First Web Design say start with mock-up sketches in pencil and storyboards. And these authors are experts where the medium is a big part of the message.

Ideas come before technology.

Exploring and mapping ideas and options on paper will make your computer work faster and more focused. A colleague was stunned when I told her that I wrote the first draft of my blog posts on paper and then edited and refined them on my computer. She thought all writers worked directly on a computer or typewriter. She thought something was wrong with her because writing this way did not come easily to her. (If you can compose directly on a computer, you have my respect and envy.) Technology is linear, the human brain works in an organic (non-linear) and infinite way. Starting with paper and pencil facilitates this non-linear thinking, which makes creative connections that linear thinking simply cannot.

What do you think of the futuristic video? What parts did you like? What parts didn’t you like? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Next week’s blog will be about isolation and the home office. How it depletes your problem solving abilities, how technology is NOT the solution and some strategies than really work.