Posts Tagged ‘Blackberry addiction’

What Do You Think About Email Free Days?

February 29, 2008

I’ve been reading a lot lately about organizations that have implemented email free days. It’s got me thinking about my fairly recent but avid attachment to my Blackberry (see earlier post) and about another post a while back about humanizing the workplace. In the latter, I had referenced a talk by Tod Maffin who spoke about the impact of technology on people and organizations from a social and ‘human’ perspective.


(Photo courtesy of Sage on Flickr)

As I wrote in an earlier post work isn’t going to get any less busy – rather, we’re going to have to learn new habits to cope. Malcolm Gladwell has been quoted as saying (Globe and Mail article): “I’m quite prepared for the possibility that the next revolution is not going to come from a machine…’s going to come from creating a more thoughtful work force and giving people the opportunity to be thoughtful.”  

Given that, I think the idea of an email-free day is an interesting possibility to help develop those habits of reflection and working a little differently now and again. What about you? What do you think?

Would an email free day…

-Offer an opportunity for more meaningful reflection?

-Encourage people to communicate differently and better  (i.e. like actually pick up the phone and talk now and again!)?

-Bring more ‘humanity’ to workplaces and/or specifically to your personal work experience?

– Lessen the distraction factor and reduce that frazzle factor?….recognizing that while there’s a whole lot of meaningful and important use of email there’s also a whole lot that we can live with out.

I suspect that for me it would take some time to self-manage my own email habits and mindset to get a real benefit out of an email free day. I have my own long list of “yeah buts”. For one, I work independently vs with one particular organization; Another ‘yeah but’ is that part of my biz is within realm of communications, I can’t imagine turning off for a whole work day. I also have clients who work in PR and well…..I suspect they’d say a whole day each week seems real unreasonable for their biz. 

Still….something there to consider, don’t you think? If a whole day each week isn’t feasible, what about an email-free hour or two or three or four……? Or what other possibilities can there be to pause….?

In any case, whether this idea is the right thing to do or not….and/or whatever it looks like (full day, just hours or something different all together) I do applaud those companies who are trying to find ways to help humanize their culture.

To a TGIM worklife…..with or without email!

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There goes my TGIM worklife – I just got a Blackberry

January 16, 2008

Okay so I succumbed. I said I wouldn’t but I did. It’s only been a few days and I’m wondering how I ever lived without it.

Am I addicted already? Blackberry, crackberry…so they call it.

I have to say I really like the freedom of being in touch where ever I am without having to be near my computer (or beg/borrow another one while out). No more worries about the gazillions of emails piling up while I’m at meetings ….I can either handle as I go…or at least know what I need to handle when I’m back. 

Email overload….definitely an issue these days for folks (myself included) who are inundated with too much email. And when you’re out and about, it piles up. This in itself is a huge contributor to the stress and overwhelm of work-life. So in the spirit of the TGIM philosophy, I say anything one can do to manage that piece….well is worth a look, right?

But freedom is a funny thing. It can be fleeting. Especially if I become a slave to my Blackberry. What if it stops serving me? What if I become a servant to it? I’ve heard the horror stories. It’s ugly. Last night I saw someone check their Blackberry in a movie theatre…right in the middle of the movie. Worse, I started thinking about mine and missed an important part (it was just a second….but still!)

So I’ve been thinking…..before I get too deep into this obsessive attachment, maybe I should come up with some ‘rules’… know, like set some Blackberry boundaries.

So here’s my starting list….. “Eileen’s Blackberry Boundaries”:

1) I shall not check my Blackberry (BB) while driving (oops….already did…but it was at a light…Does that count?).

2) I shall not check my BB while at meetings or at lunch with clients (oops….already did….but they did too! Does that count?)

3) I shall not take my BB to bed (oops….already did…but it was on the first day that I got it and  was learning the system and needed to ‘study’ the new gadget! Does that count?)

4) I shall not exhibit Pavlovian behaviour when I see the flashindicating email (oops….well, I guess I’m a lost cause on that one…..Does that one have to count?)

5) I shall not……………..s’cuse me for second….I’ll be right back….

…….uhhhh……sorry ’bout that…my BB just vibrated so it must’ve been a really, really important message and so I’m sure you understand I just had to get it…… where was I?

5) TAKE-TWO…. I will not check my BB while in the middle of writing a blog post (oops….just did that…but I hadn’t yet written the rule so does that count?)

 I can see this is going to be MUCH harder than I thought.

Well, here’s a call to recovering Blackberry-aholics out there….if you have any tips and lessons learned from your own experience, send them along! You can post them here….or better yet, also email me……It’ll be quicker cuz I now have a Blackberry!!!!

Sigh. Maybe I should take up smoking — and then quit. It would be so much simpler 🙂

To a TGIM worklife!

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