WHAT APPEARS TO BE
Put down you PDA for a second and check this out. From Fast Company, Dec ’06, “A Day-Timers survey confirmed that instant-communications technology is making it harder, not easier, to get things done. The number of people who report feeling very productive has dropped from 83% in ’94 to just 51% today.”
Question: When your cell phone rings, how do you respond?
WHAT MIGHT BE
You’ve probably observed people duck out conversations, discontinue an email, leave a meeting, even get out of bed to answer the cell phone.
What is the average time it takes to “ramp up” when a person returns to the task they were doing before they were interrupted? Most people report it’s minutes- if ever.
These people are being used. They possess communications gadgets and, like the cocaine addict, crave the next “signal”. Is it possible this signal represents
- The faux sense of being needed? (Ego food.)
- Or does it reveal an addiction to information, the need to be “in the loop”?
- Or is it a release from the discomfort of now?
Why else are people willing to be used by their gadgets?
WHAT CAN BE
Do you find yourself afflicted with communi gadgi addictus? Take this challenge: for the remainder of this week, promise yourself that you will use your gadget- not be used by it. Because we can only focus on one thing at a time, when the signal from your gadget sounds, use it as a trigger, a reminder of how precious your focus is. Ask yourself: what focus is most important right now? How important is my attention and productivity in this moment?
As you master this, each ring of the phone will be reminder of your triumph and a testament that human beings can evolve faster than the electronics industry.
What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”? You decide.