A wise friend of mine once said: try something new for 30 days, and then decide if you want to make it permanent.
Here’s my latest experiment: turning off email on my iPhone. Why? I found I was in work meetings, or spending time with the family, and I’d frequently pick up my phone and check my email. The result was I wasn’t participating in what I’d chosen to be part of — I was distracted, disrespectful of the folks I was with, and fostering a culture of rapid-fire responses to what was supposed to be an asynchronous communication medium. So, I turned email off on my iPhone.
What happened? I am enjoying and participating in meetings more. I am paying attention to the people and places I have chosen to be. And I’m not falling behind on email — I do email when I choose to do it, and it’s a more deliberate and effective effort.
Have I strayed? Yes, I have. When I’m truly mobile (traveling and away from my computer), I choose to turn it on and stay on top of my inbox — that’s a time when I want to multitask and make the best use of my time by actually choosing to do email. And then I turn it off again.
My calendar and contacts are still enabled. On the go, I want to know where and when I need to be somewhere, and to be able to consciously check my plans. I also want to be able to contact people with my phone.
Will I stick with it? I think so. Give it a try.
See you next time.