Strategically Analog in a Digital World

Oct 25, 2016 |Posted by Jared Simmons | Coaching

Technological advancement is a wonderful thing. It opens doors to worlds of new possibilities.

But when those possibilities begin to distract us from making progress, an analog approach can sometimes be the best strategy. Below are a few potential benefits.

Why Analog is Useful

By being fit for fewer purposes, analog…

Clarifies intent

Choosing paper and pen over a computer clarifies your intent to write

Choosing a landline over a cell phone clarifies your intent to talk

Sharpens focus

A simple alarm clock that starts your day without email, text, or social media notifications

An evening at the theatre that creates a one-time experience that can’t be saved to DVR

Fosters prioritization

A turntable that plays one album at a time, prioritizing a few specific songs at a time

A beach bag that only holds a couple of physical books, making what to read at the pool a pre-trip decision

When Should You Go Analog?

To decide when analog is useful –and not just an “old is new” thing– we can start by asking:

“When would leading a meeting with a whiteboard or flipchart be more effective than PowerPoint?”

“Is it better to be the one sticky note on your boss’s desk or one of hundreds of emails in his inbox?”

“Is it easier to ignore the person standing in your office or a text that came in while your phone was silenced?”

Any extra effort associated with an analog approach is more than offset by the fact that your message is instantly distinct from the digital deluge that washes over us each day. Used effectively, an analog signal will slice through the 21st century digital noise for moments great and small.

Be intentional, be focused, and ruthlessly prioritize what you take in and what you put out. Go analog!

Picture of Jared Simmons

Jared Simmons

Jared is the founder of Outlast Consulting LLC, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations with strategy, process improvement, and professional development. He is an engineer by training with experience in market research, product development, innovation, management consulting, and strategic planning at P&G, McKinsey, and Coca-Cola.


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