Tech & Your Daily Routine

I think we can all admit that (computer) technology can be both a blessing and a curse. As professional women we use tech to help us get just one more thing crammed into our day. Calendars. Texts. Alerts. Reminders. Emails. Facetime / video chat. Oh, and actual phone calls too. I don't know exactly how it happened, but we are somehow expected to respond 24/7 to anything that comes to our phones or tablets. Respond to text messages within 30 minutes. Emails within an hour.

Right now I'm sitting pretty (not really) with almost 2,000 unread messages across all my accounts. That's stressful. I'm sure I look to be non-responsive but in reality it would take me all day, every day to deal with messages alone. I have been pretty good at separating myself from my devices during the times I do not wish to be tethered to them. My husband gets twitchy when he sees I get an alert on my phone (usually a Twitter @ or DM) and I don't JUMP up to read and respond to it. Too bad so sad! Dinner time is dinner time. I know a lot of women people may try to cling on to this illusion of dealing with everything all the time and coming out ahead, but I know I work, function, and think better when I can single-task my efforts.

So, ready to think about all the time you spend with your cell phone or tablet in your hand?

1. Check your phone / tablet before you get out of bed?
This one is easy, don't keep your devices next to your bed. If someone calls or messages me late at night it can (yes it can!) wait until the next morning. Besides, I have a handset of my home phone in my bedroom. If someone calls me at 2am on my house phone - someone has either died or wound up in jail. NO ONE calls a house line that late at night without a reason, but plenty of people will call a cell line that late (drunk / butt dialing anyone?)

2. Check your phone / tablet during your commute to work?
Let's hope you take the train). Not to mention how dangerous this can be it's highly unlikely you will be able to type coherent responses to emails or messages during your drive. Part of the requirements for the car I bought last year was that it had built-in Bluetooth for my phone for hands free talking. Those ear pieces just never worked for me. Sadly taking business calls in my car with my kids is hard because they can hear the entire convo - and my caller can hear my kids. Hindsight is 20/20.

3. Check your phone / tablet during a meeting?
Stack 'em if you've got 'em! I highly recommend suggesting to the entire meeting that they place their phones and tablets on the table during a meeting. Fun twists - the first person to take their phone brings coffee for the next meeting. When I've done this meetings go quicker and stay on target because twitch people really twitch want their devices back quickly.

4. Check your phone / tablet while on another phone call?
I'm guilty myself of being on a Skype / land line call and fiddling with my cell phone. Heck, I can even put a cell call on speaker or use Bluetooth and surf ON my cell phone. Don't. Confession time - I've accidentally hung up on someone and conferenced in another number. 

5. Pretended to GET a call / text to get out of a situation?
Yes and YES. Thinking back, this tactic would have been amazing in 'boring date' situations when I was younger, but cell phones (or at least ones you didn't have to bolt into your car) didn't exist yet. While I haven't used the idea, I've thought about it during discovery / sales meetings where it was clear I needed an 'out'. 

6. Pretended to MAKE a call / text to get out of a situation?
Professionally I've postponed 'catch up' phone calls to continue a great meeting I happened to be in at the moment. The reverse also holds true - feigning a scheduled phone call is an excellent way to keep meetings or other calls on time and on track. Having a 'hard stop' time keeps things from dragging on too long. Most times I really DO have a hard stop time and really dislike being late. Besides, it just ripples down the line and makes me late for everything. I set audible reminders and alarms on my phone to keep me an honest lady. Also, pretending to call Santa, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy is funny as hell. Sadly my mom thought of this first so apparently my kids think only she has Santa on speed dial.

I know I've left the house with my cell phone and not my wallet. I know I've answered calls or messages when I should have been paying attention to my kids at dinner or a person on the other end of the call. 

I love technology just as much as the next person, probably more, but learning to juggle and drop it into my life when needed has made me much more productive, focused and happy.


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