Why Tech Bells and Whistles Slow You Down: Insight From The Software Revitalist

ellen-depasquale.jpgEllen DePasquale, The Software Revitalist and Author of “It’s About Time; Time Management Tips From The Software Revitalist
Who Really Needs Bells & Whistles?
Even better, who wants them? In a typical 21st century day full of interruptions, emails and vibrating cell phones why would we invite more “noise” with bells and whistles? I know I am talking literally, and I am also talking figuratively. “Bells and whistles,” in our current vernacular, means computer features and functionality, and in many cases this is noise.
So how do we reduce this noise? Simplicity. Here’s an example. In Microsoft Word most people regularly use an average of 15 features, and these are located on 5 menus or ribbons. There are also an average of 15 other features on each of those menus or ribbons, which equate to noise, causing us to take more time to find the ones we want to use.
To reduce the noise and time, simplify your menus and ribbons. Your 15 features can be places on a single menu or ribbon so they are easily found every time you need them.
Too many options, features, bells and whistles make it more difficult to find the one you need now! And it is always about now! If you “don’t have time for [_fill in the blank_]” then how come you have time to search through menus, ribbons, favorites and toolbars looking for features? Or is it because you spend time looking for these features that you “don’t have time for [_fill in the blank_]?”

I live by the mantra that I make time for things that are important to me. It is important to get the job done. It is important to do the best job I can. It is important to be efficient. And the most important thing is my time. Bells and whistles that waste my time are not important.
How much noise is in your day?
What does this mean for your business [Editorial input from Ramon] While technology is good, most technology comes with so many features and options (or bells and whistles) that it gets in the way of we professionals doing our work. Instead reduce all the features and focus on the basics of the tool you are using.
As you find that you NEED the additional features, add them.