Tech-free productivity

Summer can be a hard time to conduct a training – hot temperatures and short attention spans are a speaker’s nemeses. But the folks at NOFA VT (Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont) – lovers of the outdoors and summer, of course – were undaunted. They scheduled their staff retreat on a hot, sunny, summer day, and invited me to conduct the afternoon training…after lunch, standing on the deck in the sunshine with a gentle breeze, view of mountains in every direction. Executive Director Enid Wonnacott welcomed me with a “better you than me” wink knowing the challenges inherent in that post-lunch warm sunshine environment.

But no one fell asleep. We were able to have a lively 3-hour discussion of productivity topics ranging from the perils of multitasking to strategies for efficiently processing email to the value of using lists. No powerpoint slides, no screens, no easels – just good, old-fashioned human interaction.

Sometimes, getting technology out of the way is the best path to producing outcomes.

When can you get better results by ditching the technology?