How ingrained is technology in our everyday lives (both work and personal)? I challenge you to identify one full hour in your day when you’re not using some form of technology – computer, mobile phone, tablet, TV, etc. It’s nearly impossible, right?

Similar to using the right tool at the right time, technology has made our lives easier and more efficient, and has changed the fabric of our culture in the way we interact, engage, and share information. Imagine using something other than a hammer (or nail gun) to pound nails into a wall. It would take forever, you’d be frustrated, and you’d likely hurt yourself at some point.

In many ways, we take the technology we use every day for granted. But what would it be like if we removed all vestiges of technology from our daily lives for one work day? How would that look? Here’s a day in the life without technology – diary version.

8 a.m. – Arrive at the office. Need to make some coffee. But where is the coffee machine? Oh, yea. No coffee machine. Guess I’ll have to do it this way.

8am

9:30 a.m. – Okay, the first three cups were horrible. But one-and-a-half hours later, I finally got my cup of coffee. The day can officially begin! What next? Yes, thank you letters to donors, members, and volunteers. Let’s see, I don’t have a computer and I don’t have a copy machine. What are my options? Hmmmm …

930am

12:30 p.m. – Well, that didn’t go well. Forty-seven sheets of paper later, I finally completed one letter. I only have 350 more to go. <sigh>. At least it’s time for lunch.

1:30 p.m. – Okay, back to it. Better go through the day’s mail and see if any checks or cash have arrived that need to be processed. Hey, what do you know! Five checks! Let me take these down to accounting so they can be input into our system. And, by system, I mean this:

130pm

3 p.m. – That was painful. Thank goodness we still have Whiteout. Okay, on to some phone calls to major donors and key members who I need to talk to today. Here’s hoping the party line isn’t too busy! Operator …

3pm

5 p.m. – What a long and exhausting day. I made one cup of coffee, typed up one thank you letter, processed five checks, and talked to one important donor and one important member, because I couldn’t get through to the secretary and kept having that loudmouth from the office below break into my party line. Time to head home.

While the above is meant to be taken in jest (no person who works in a nonprofit leaves at 5!), it illustrates the point about having the right technology tools at the right time to be most effective and efficient, which is critical in this fast-paced world.

Think how easy it is to track donors and members when the software is designed for that purpose, or to track different funds from different sources when the software is designed specifically to do that. Certainly, life is made much easier with technology around us, but it also allows us to be more efficient and effective so we can activate our missions on a scale we couldn’t even conceive of at one point in time.