суббота, 29 октября 2016 г.

Has The 'Crackberry' Taken Over Your Life?

Have you had a meeting with someone recently where you had a sneaking feeling that there were three people in the conversation?? There you were in the coffee shop or restaurant chatting away but every 10 seconds or every couple of minutes you heard a “Beep!” and the person you were talking were constantly checking their phone for e-mails or text messages. And did you feel you didn’t quite have their full attention? Welcome to the world of the Blackberry or the ‘Crackberry’ – the ubiquitous tool of the busy executive. As an owner of one of these myself I can well understand how some business people find it hard to not to let it take over their lives. I know people who take it to bed with them and can’t bear to switch it off, who are seen walking along the road composing e-mails. I’ve even heard of coaching courses designed to wean people off their Blackberrys. One Hotel, The Sheraton Chicago, even has special night safes for guests to lock away their phones overnight. The only way of retrieving them is to come down to reception and ask for them back. Why has this gizmo turned responsible adults into kids at Christmas, leading to tears and tantrums at bedtime when it’s time to put the toys away and go to sleep? Well one answer could be the ‘have it all now’ society. The internet means we can have instant answers to anything. Whereas 10 years ago everyone sent a memorandum on paper or wrote a letter, meaning the pace of commercial life was slower. Delayed gratification was the norm. Now the flow of information is such that most people absorb the equivalent amount of information in a single day that our medieval ancestors were exposed to during their entire lifetime! Plus, because of this constant and never ending stream of information flooding our lives, there’s a need to stay on top of all those e-mails. With a Blackberry at least you can get advance warning of impending trouble or experience the joy of a signed contract before you get back to the office. Then there’s the novelty aspect of receiving encouraging text messages looking important when your phone rings and you “have to take this call” (one of my personal pet peeves!) – echoes of my childhood recalling my Dad making excuses about not coming to the sports day because he had to wait for “an important call from Germany”. Now parents can’t make that excuse but instead have one eye on the high jump or the kiddies pantomime and the other on the latest announcement from the Chief Exec via their phone. The benefits of the Blackberry can be quite amusing – one evening meeting I attended the chairman was checking his phone and read out loud the vociferous e-mail from a disgruntled attendee who’d got lost on the way to the meeting and turned around and went home, stating that it wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t find the venue and what a stupid place it was to hold a meeting anyway. He ranted on about how he’d wasted his valuable time and could the chairman give clearer instructions next time! The assembled party found this hugely amusing. Here are 10 top tips to deal with the ‘Crackberry’ addiction 1. Don’t have too many applications on your Blackberry, stick to the essentials – i.e. phone or e-mails because do you really need all those functions? We buy a washing machine to wash clothes, but invariably it offers far too many functions, half of which we don’t ever use. 2. Don’t have your phone switched on whilst driving 3. Don’t look at your Blackberry during meetings, it’s disrespectful to everyone else – switch it off, unless of course it’s an all day meeting in which case you can excuse yourself for 10 minutes to check for anything that’s urgent 4. Save making lengthy e-mail responses for when you get back to the office 5. Don’t live your whole life through technology – get out there and meet people face to face 6. Don’t take your Blackberry into the bedroom – it’s not conducive to a good night’s sleep, or anything else for that matter! 7. Do you really need to communicate everything via your phone anyway? A few phone calls from your office could be more productive and save time, so don’t hide behind your e-mail 8. If you’ve found yourself mesmerized by your phone and it’s taking over – think about what it’s doing to your stress levels. Step off the technology roundabout, and slow down. Don’t be a slave to it. 9. Create some structure to your day and give yourself at least 1-2 hours where you’re not looking at e-mails at all. Being in touch with every aspect of your business may be important, however it’s equally important to have control over your time and work with a proactive rather than a reactive schedule, e.g. if you work from home, give yourself a break between 5.00 and 8.00 for instance 10. Delegate. If you’re overwhelmed with information think about using a VA (Virtual Assistant) to deal with some of your messages, and have a cull of the number of newsletters and other information that you’ve subscribed to. You can’t read them all anyway so be ruthless and cut them out of your life

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