Control Technology

How to control technology so it doesn’t control you..

Topic – Make sure your day doesn’t get the best of you

Mentor – Scott Stein

  • Control technology
  • Avoiding distractions
  • Your message will be repeated

Tech talk with Joel Leslie – Blockchain is very technical but very simple at the same time.  Joel reveals all.


Kevin:   Earlier in the week when  we were talking to our guest mentor, Scott Stein, about time management. We touched on Monday on being aware of where you spend your time, particularly around social media. We say good morning to Scott once again.

Kevin:   Good morning, Scott.

Scott:   Yeah. Good morning, Kevin, good to be here again.

Kevin:   Scott, of course, the author of the book called Leadership Hacks, and there’s a link to that book so you can get a bit more information, and even get the book at his website, and there’s links to his website on every day’s programmes.

Kevin:   Can we delve a little further into Facebook, about how do you control that? I mean, you obviously … It becomes an important part of what a real estate does, Facebook and Twitter and so on, social media. But how do you control that? What are your practical tips, Scott?

Scott:   Yeah, I think what we have to do is we have to control technology. Technology is a great tool, but we need to use it as a tool. Which means we need to know when to turn it on and when to turn it off or ignore it. I think that’s the important thing. There was an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review and it was just out earlier this year. The title of it based on the research was “Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking.”

Scott:   What the research showed even having my smartphone on my desk was a distraction. They actually did experiments with people and found by me actually having my smartphone next to me, people would stop their flow of what they were actually working on just to double-check their phone. Right? I think that’s what you’ve got to get on top of.

Kevin:   It’s really annoying when you’re with someone and you’re conscious of the fact that they’re watching their phone maybe waiting for a message. It’s almost saying, “Well I’m in this conversation with you but my phone is more important.”

Scott:   Yeah. I think that’s a big one. If you are a principal, running your own office, be aware of the messages you’re sending your staff. Because constantly if you don’t look at them, if you’re not present with them and you’re on your phone, you’re kind of telling them, “I don’t really care about you. You don’t really matter.”

Scott:   That’s not a good message to have. Likewise, your team and your agents when they’re talking with prospective clients coming in, make sure that they’re not distracted kind of glancing at their phone all the time.

Kevin:   A big message here for me is technology is fantastic, but we 1 need to control it and understand what it’s position is. It’s a tool for us to communicate better, it is not the ultimate communication tool.

Scott:   Correct. Correct. The thing that I find, some of the strategies that people could use, like turn off your notifications. Turn off some of those things that constantly remind you. I can guarantee if you’re an agent you’re going to go on and check things anyway, so you’re not going to miss something. Right? Because there are times when you need to be present, focus on something else.

Scott:   This also happens as well at home. How do we balance what we do in the office and the agency with what we’re doing at home? I can’t tell you how many times the family kind of give you that look to say, “You’re on your phone again?”

Kevin:   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Scott:   “Can’t we have a conversation? Can’t we have dinner together where you’re not constantly in your phone?”

Scott:   Most people can wait five or 10 minutes for you to call them back, but I think we need to know how to control it.

Kevin:   This is a real problem with email. I remember when email first came in and I am actually old enough to realise when that first started, Scott, so that tells you a lot about my age. But I can remember when emails started to go and we got to the stage where we’d send an email and you’d almost be sitting there waiting for the response. So five minutes, if they haven’t responded yet what’s wrong? I do think this is built into us, and we need to get a little bit more understanding or control around the urgency of what we do.

Scott:   Yeah. I think there’s actually a study from the 1950s that shows what happens when we get that little instant gratification. Right? Because every time we check that email we see there’s a little bit of instant gratification. Essentially what the research showed one of the chemicals in your brain, dopamine, gets released every time that happens. Every time you check it you see it and it feels good, it feels like I’m on top of things.

Scott:   The challenge is, and the research in the 1950s they did this with rats, they actually put them on electrodes and they pushed a lever every time they pushed a lever, they got that little hit of dopamine. Well some rats were pushing the lever 700 times an hour, right, and then collapsing. Not that we’re rats, but we’re very similar. That dopamine, that gets addictive. I’ll just keep checking my email. Let me check my email. Let me go on the Facebook and double-check it. I think that’s where it kind of gets … It takes us out of control.

Kevin:   Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, I’ve never heard of Facebook being aligned with drugs but it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Scott:   Yeah, well if you looked at some of the research, there’s now addiction clinics in China for people that actually that are so wired to their devices. They’ve actually treated over 10,000 people in the last five years.

Kevin:   Yeah. Tomorrow with our guest Scott Stein I’m going to come back and give you something that I have never thought about in terms of controlling your time. This is a great lever that you can pull at any point during your day. We’ll share that with you tomorrow.

Kevin:   Our guest is Scott Stein, Scott, talk to you then. Thanks, mate.

Scott:   Alright. Thanks, Kevin.

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