22 November 2008

Unplug every once in a while…


We certainly live in a world powered by electricity, communication, contact, demands, urgency and a sense that so many of our day to day tasks need to be done right this second. This has to take a toll on even the most resilient of workaholics. 

I suggest that you make a certain number of hours every day, or every few days, or on the weekends, totally free of communication to the outside world. Turn off your mobile phone, put the answering machine on, shut down your email programme and just go about doing your day to day tasks without the added stress of a constant stream of new demands.

Initially this can be really tough. Most of us are addicted to communication in some shape or form and we have become like Pavlov’s Dog. We here the beep of a “new email” and we stop everything to see what this new message is all about. Or we are focusing on a specific task and the phone rings. We have to break our concentration and attend to this new distraction. We have the attention span of tree snails. 

In reality how much of the day to day communications that we get are urgent? How many need our immediate attention? I am sure some probably do, but I bet that most don’t. Great customer service is not necessarily all about leaping through the phone when ever it rings, or responding to an email the minute it comes in. Sure these are good practises, but they become very hard to live up to after a while. But that is the topic of another blog posting.

Reprogramme yourself and your communication patterns. Make time on a regular basis for you to be able to do what you do and give it 100% of your attention. The end result is that your work becomes so much more enjoyable. Your brain is happier because it is able to put all of its best energy into one key task. And most importantly, you will get more done and you will do it to a much higher standard. There really is no down side to doing this and in time, it might even become habit forming.

So unplug today – just for a little while and see how you go…….  

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