Are you an addict? Let’s find out. Check the statements below – which apply to you?
- I answer my phone in the middle of a conversation.
- I can be reached by phone, text or email 24/7.
- I’ve been known to check my PDA in movies, at the dinner table, or in the middle of the night.
- I attend meetings at two levels – one above the table where the action is, and one under the table with my PDA.
- If I can’t find my PDA I start to shiver, sweat and shake.
There’s a reason so many of my clients call their BlackBerry their CrackBerry. It’s addictive. And unless you want it to take over life, you’ve got to take some control.
Because it’s not just about turning off the machine. It’s about turning off the distraction. Paul Melchiorre, the vice president of global strategy at Ariba, puts it bluntly.
Even if you were good at managing your time before PDAs came along, now you need to adjust to this CrackBerry world. You have to know when to turn it off – not turning the BlackBerry off but being able to turn off the work mindset.
Time management now isn’t about having slots of time for home and slots of time for work. It’s all in the mix. What most people have done is learn how to shift back and forth from what’s happening in the present to what’s happening on their PDA, much the way my husband is right now flipping the channels back and forth between ESPN and the news.
But if you want to be effective as a leader, you need to stop flipping back and forth. You need to focus.
I don’t care if you’re the CEO, Barack Obama’s own attorney or the highest paid entrepreneur ever to cash a check – your family wants you there at dinner. Your team wants you in the meeting with them now. You deserve to work an uninterrupted hour.
Try this trick every time your PDA rings. Imagine the person trying to reach you is actually physically present. Feel the sense of intrusion when they barge through the door mid-sentence in the middle of meeting, or tap on your shoulder incessantly as you’re trying to work.
Do you have the power to turn away from the spectre of efficiency and take back your life?
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