Oh joy! As a manager at the radio station group where I worked, we were all given a brand new BlackBerry. Technology had never been my thing, so I was forced to learn all of the nuances of my new gadget, or monitor, as I liked to call it.
One of the managers, who was almost half my age, was kind enough to show me how to use it along with direction from the chief engineer. In no time I was beginning to build up my thumb muscles. It’s no surprise that I learned so quickly because I was easily receiving 100 messages a day.
Every time a message would come in there would be a sound like a moo of a cow. This went on all day. Moo, moo, moo, over and over again. As time went on, it also went all night. It seemed like a contest of who could send a message at the most outrageous time – two in the morning, four in the morning, moo, moo.
When I first had the device, it was like an addiction. Since it was constantly mooing, it was hard to put down. Plus, having a competitive nature, I was driven to keep up with the never ending stream of emails.
I remember driving and texting at the same time. As if that wasn’t stupid enough, I was coming up on a train signal. The crossing gate was coming down right in the middle of a response I was typing. The absurdity of the situation made me fling the BlackBerry onto the passenger seat. At that moment, I vowed to never read or text another message in the car.
For me that was a wakeup call to take a step back to think of how reactive I was to so many business situations. Did I really need to respond back in rapid fire? What would have happened if I had been hit by the train? In the ambulance, if there was any part of me left, would I have clutched the collar of the EMS person’s shirt, pulled his or her face towards mine and with my last breath gasped, “Tell me that they got the email. Please tell me they got the email.”
Have you ever stopped to think of your busyness as an addiction? Achieving, accomplishing, using technology – it can all create a rush. While technology is amazing, I’m not sure how truly productive we are.
I found that I had been wasting a lot of time and energy in being constantly busy. I never had time to think. In my life I was being reactive and not proactive to most situations. Looking back over the events of the day, I hadn’t been productive as much as I had been just busy.
Have you ever thought of being busy as a form of protection or avoidance? Workaholic is a word that comes to mind.
I knew a very powerful manager of a television station who built a thriving property. None of the other stations in the market could compete in ratings, prestige and how much advertising revenue was generated from the strong programming.
For a variety of reasons I was in the station offices on many weekends and he was always there. No one else worked on the weekends other than the weekend anchor crew and engineers. One time he was reading the paper and sitting at his desk. When I walked in, he seemed startled and explained that he was going to write a letter to the fire fighter that he was reading the story about.
This man had a family, devoted wife and sons, yet he was in the office almost each and every weekend. He had to be working on the next deal and to be busy, work busy, that is. For whatever reason, he chose to spend his time at the office and not at home.
My life has been a lot happier, healthier, and productive since I cancelled my membership to Business Addicts Anonymous. What about you? Are you a member?