Old-School Tactics That Still Get the Job Done

The statement “I’ve always done it this way” can sometimes imply a lack of innovation, a bevy of inefficient procedures, or an overall resistance to change. But aren’t there times when working the old-fashioned way (circa 1974 perhaps?) actually might be more effective or productive? Consider these scenarios:

Phone vs. email

Email is speedy, less invasive and comes built in with written documentation, but some decisions can be made so much faster with a phone call. Discussing issues with colleagues by phone can also help to fine-tune your listening skills.

Face-to-face vs. web-chat

Conducting meetings and seminars online is great for bringing people together from around the world without digging into the T&E budget. However, don’t discount an opportunity to meet in person with clients, customers or consultants – some of our humanity and passion for the job at hand can get lost in the ether.

Writing vs. typing

For many people, writing (and reading) notes by hand helps with comprehension and recall. Plus pens and legal pads are so much less distracting than a tablet or laptop in a meeting – no chance to sneak a peek at your email or Twitter feed.

Snail mail vs. instant message

A thoughtful thank-you card, a promotional gift, a simple letter of appreciation…any executive can appreciate getting something in the mail from a colleague that isn’t an invoice or an advertisement. An IM or even an email doesn’t always pass muster where the fine art of formality is concerned.

Four walls and a door vs. open office

While many companies are opening their minds to an open office setting, some studies suggest that the absence of privacy can deter productivity. Being able to close the door and concentrate can often get you much further on your to-do list.

Post-it Notes vs. task management apps

A good app goes a long way when it comes to juggling multiple projects and deadlines. But that bright Post-it note on your desk will not fall prey to “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to that one thing you absolutely, positively must not forget.

Don’t be afraid to work it “old school” every once in a while!

What old-school tactics work best for you?

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