The Internet of Things is something we all interact with every day and the one thing it creates is a huge amount of data. That data can seem overwhelming, and if we are not careful, it can tempt us to stay in touch and connected all the time.
However, if used properly, the Internet of Things and big data can be used to automate processes, enable remote management, and more. Tempered with a little bit of know-how and common sense, this can enhance your work-life balance instead of disrupting it.
Here are some tips for keeping your balance in an overly connected world.
One of the benefits and dangers of the Internet of Things is that it enables remote management in a number of processes. With cloud data and applications, you can access and control processes from almost anywhere you have internet or cell phone access.
Apps previously only available on desktop or laptop systems are now downloadable on iOS or Android devices. This means that management and other parties can monitor, control, and get performance reports on devices remotely, saving travel time and the restrictions of having to be directly on site.
Achieving Balance with Remote Management
The key to balance is to pass the control to a primary controller when you are off work and disconnect from those apps at least. While it may be tempting to install them on your personal devices, resist that temptation or disable them. At the least, silence notifications when you are not obligated to be connected.
Since the “handoff” or responsibility can also be done remotely, it can also be done quickly, enabling a rapid shift to other tasks.
Another perk of the Internet of Things is that even though you can manage things remotely, often you don’t even have to. The system senses errors and fixes itself, meaning there is no need for human intervention at all.
This automation is about more than just things, but about processes as well. Things like email follow-ups, full shopping cart reminders, and even customer service communications and appointment reminders can be completely automated.
Online chat can at least begin with an automated process that can answer certain frequent questions, and then direct users to a customer service representative once they have exhausted the automated resources.
This automation frees up one of your most valuable resources, and that is time. While it takes time to set up these automatic processes and front load them at the outset, the payoff in the long term is huge. Your business can run 24/7 without your direct supervision, freeing you up to engage with other areas of your life.
Personalizing each web-users journey is all the rage in marketing and customer service and there’s a reason for that. It does more for you than just smoothing and often shortening the buying journey.
Why Automated Personalization is So Valuable
Imagine trying to gather all of the data about each customer, sending them a personalized email, and trying to direct them to certain pages that would be of more interest to them without the process of automation. The amount of time spent getting to know each customer and create such specific products would quickly become too cost prohibitive.
This is why, before the era of big data, this simply did not happen most of the time. Until recently, this type of personalization was only available to enterprise-level companies. The advent of the above-mentioned cloud analytics and applications has made it possible for businesses of every size and description. Using unique domain names and subdomains, a business can take personalization to a much higher level with very little human effort.
The Internet of Things and big data is now applicable to more than just industry. They are revolutionizing every aspect of the business world.
There is a certain danger to cloud applications, remote management, and the Internet of Things: for data to be valuable, it should be usable. This means that analysis is the most important part of data gathering.
Without analysis, the overwhelming amount of data can be like trying to drink from a firehose. This can result in more imbalance in both your business and your life. So, there are several steps you can take to avoid this data danger:
- Analyze what Data You Actually Need
- Discard or Ignore Unnecessary Data
- Filter New Data as it Becomes Available
- Design Software and Apps to Gather the Data You Need
- Guard the Privacy of the Data You Gather and Hold
When looking at data and the Internet of Things, be sure to evaluate and use what you actually need. However, you also need to be sure not to skip data that may be valuable. This will help you avoid the imbalance that can be created by data overload.
When we talk about work-life balance, we also need to address that, at certain times, you will need to be purposefully imbalanced. This means that when you focus on work, you need to keep your focus there. The reason being is that then when you focus on family and your life away from your business, you can focus on that.
Trying to handle everything at once actually creates more imbalance than focusing on one thing at a time, i.e., being unbalanced in a purposeful manner. This may mean some smaller things get left behind or must be delegated to others. However, it also enables you to do the things you do best and focus on really well.
The Internet of Things and Big Data can contribute to this purposeful imbalance, which then helps you achieve a better work-life balance. Use data to your advantage, to disconnect, to work smarter not harder, and to achieve a better state of balance in your life.