The garden in our new house is quite large and has many mature trees. It looks great most of the time, but has one drawback: falling leaves.

From October through to January, the leaves continue to rain down onto the lawn, patios and driveways. In the past couple of years, once the leaf drop got big enough, I raked the leaves into large piles, bagged them up and took them away.

It was hard work and, so, I’ve been looking for an easier solution. As a result, I am now the proud owner of a leaf vacuum, an expensive piece of kit that hoovers up the leaves into a large bag that I can then empty directly into my compost bins. 

The vacuum is so much easier than raking. There’s only one problem: it’s created more work for me! 

Rather than waiting for a couple of big leaf clearance sessions, I’m now out in the garden every week vacuuming away. Last Sunday, alone, I spent 4 hours hoovering up leaves.  My garden may be tidier, but I’m not sure that my life is any better.

It’s the same in business. New technologies such as e-mails, video conferencing and more sophisticated management information systems, for example, are all designed to make our lives easier. Yet these technologies can quickly become a major drain on our time without any real improvement in our productivity or performance. 

What supposedly performance-improving technologies are stopping you from being more productive? And how can you turn over a new leaf to be in charge of these technologies, rather than passively allowing them to control you?

Off The Record: California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & The Papas

All the leaves are brown

And the sky is grey

I’ve been for a walk

On a winter’s day

© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.