We live in a world where there is a digital solution to almost every problem or challenge. The way we communicate, share and remain productive is driven by technology.
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Are we missing something, though? Is the digital era removing us from traditions that are actually still relevant today?
I think it is. And, when it comes to our working lives, I think we’re all in danger of getting swallowed up by a digital world that starves us of making far more meaningful connections and exploring the upper reaches of personal success.
With that in mind, here are five traditional working methods that I think we should all spend some time resurrecting:
1. Writing Letters
Unfairly termed ‘snail mail’, the humble letter is still a brilliant way to communicate with people.
Think about it – so rare is the sight of a letter landing on your desk that, when one does, you’re intrigued. Who’s writing to you? What have you done? What haven’t you done? What have you won?
Writing letters to customers, partners or even colleagues is a great way to gain their attention, respect and say something important. Do it more often!
2. Pen And Paper
While we’re on the subject of letters, we really should cover the implements used to craft them.
Analogue life is making a startling comeback, thanks in no small way to a renewed desire people have for interacting with tangible objects that inspire creativity.
When you’ve spent years crafting emails, letters and project plans on a keyboard, returning to the simplicity of pen and paper can be liberating. Try it!
3. Meeting Face-To-Face
The meteoric rise and democratization of video conferencing means anyone with an internet-connected device can contact loved ones, colleagues, and customers and see the white of their eyes without having to jump in the car.
This is something to be celebrated and can be a genuine timesaver in certain situations. It shouldn’t, however, completely replace face-to-face contact.
If you think a meeting would be best held in-person – arrange it, even if it means traveling. Some of the best business relationships continue to be built when people make the effort to meet in the same room.
4. Using The Telephone – Properly
Smartphones are now so powerful they’re capable of replacing desktop PCs or laptops as primary computing devices.
Ironically, the one capability from which they were originally devised is rarely touched. And that’s the ability to make calls.
Sure, it’s easier to send an instant message than it is to dial a number and talk to someone, but in business (and your personal life), the effort you make with the latter will almost always be appreciated.
If you think picking up the phone would be easier – do it!
5. Dining Out
Some clients respond well to being ‘wined and dined’, and while this might feel like a form of bribery, it’s quite the opposite.
If you have a special business relationship you want to celebrate, why not treat the other party to a meal? Equally, if you’re the boss and the team has performed particularly well recently, why not make a big deal of them and treat them to lunch at the pub?
Analogue life didn’t disappear with the twentieth century – it can still reap great rewards when used properly. Reviving the above techniques is working for me, and I think it will for you, too!