It’s amazing to me still how much my BlackBerry device has become my indirect taskmaster. How you ask? I have ‘cleverly’ connected it to both my work and personal email accounts. I’ve installed applications like Foursquare, Twitter, Skype and LinkedIn. I have a few folks on the BlackBerry IM service as well. I regularly use the mobile web. My mobile device is my portable office – even when I’m in my office.
I am completely connected to everything and everyone.
More often than not I have the device set to vibrate. With the variety of chirps, beeps and pleasing chimes going off I certainly wouldn’t want it to disturb anyone.
It’s a real time saver since everything I need is right there in the palm of my hands. When it summons me I respond almost immediately. I find that I’m often staring down at it, holding it with both hands, practicing the BlackBerry Prayer.
This past weekend I was happily tweeting, checking in, responding to emails when, in an instant, my device was given a lobotomy: The track ball would no longer scroll down.
I Am But A Pinball
I like to think I’m a planner. I have good intentions each morning for the new day ahead. I subscribe to the GTD philosophy and employ many of the techniques for productivity. Indeed I get a lot done but my good friend the mobile phone always seems to be interrupting my rhythm.
The phone’s notifications can really get me bouncing around as I try to keep up with all of the real time events streaming in that cry out for attention. As such, I’ve become expert at managing the random flow of notifications and data. Things do get done.
But by days end my circuits are fried.
At the end of the day, I need to unplug from the grid and reconnect with the world around me. Family and my four-legged friend take precedence now.
This was my daily routine up until the track ball stopped scrolling. No longer could I update statuses; I couldn’t select Skype conversations. I couldn’t navigate to my apps and fire them up. I couldn’t surf the web. Through some clever keyboarding I was able to get to priority email but my phone basically became just that – a phone.
print “Hello World!”
It seems I have gotten something back since this device malfunction. At least for a while I can’t be interrupted or distracted because, well, I can’t do anything about it. I have to wait to respond. I am ‘disconnected’ in a sense – free.
This situation could be a boon for what becomes a priority and what is not. It may well be a cure for my self inflicted A.D.D.
The iPhone Event Horizon
I have read blog posts where folks write about ‘managing your inbox’ and how email can keep you from getting any work done. I’d argue that it’s not just your inbox, but the sum of all event notifications that you sensibly have to negotiate on a daily basis – SMS included.
Now, my BlackBerry replacement plan has been to purchase the iPhone 5 iPhone 4S. Of course that plan started early in the year, so I have been patiently waiting. It seems I won’t have to wait too much longer.
I do envisage myself exercising this new skill of moderation and prioritization when the iPhone finally arrives – Angry Birds be damned.
Photo credits: © 2011 Eric Wilson