OOO #4

Personal productivity No Comments

This reflection came from one reader in response to our series of blogs on ‘OOO’ (out of office) messages for example. We share the ideas we received here (thanks R):

“Excellent and timely articles.

I have been experimenting with some of these (and would dearly love to try one or two others).

Although I have, and try to maintain, very separate work and social lives, I have found that the way I operate them has become almost identical.

By which I mean that work is ruled by desktop/laptop/Blackberry/mobile etc and social life is ruled by laptop/smartphone/internet. This means that when those two seemingly distinct worlds collide, which they inevitably do, it’s not always clear which laptop/’phone I need to reach for.

I recently found myself very much behind with what used to be called ‘paperwork’ – I don’t know the modern equivalent – in my private life (bills, correspondence etc). I had to specifically allocate a set amount of time on a specific day when I could deal with that and do so by switching off/ignoring everything to do with work. (For me, that’s a downside of the ‘digital only’ world – timely paper reminders kept me on track and ‘going paperless’ sometimes means I let things slide!)

I think I managed to give myself a three hour block when I did nothing but sort out those things important to me/my family. It was very liberating.

The ‘day blocking’ you cite here is something I will take up. I recently got back from a short period of leave to be faced with two conflicting issues: my first day back involved three meetings; and my bulging inbox contained ‘promises’ from colleagues about urgent briefings and the like that I would provide immediately upon my return.

The next leave period I have, I will clear at least one day either side. I have to say, the ‘e-mail bankruptcy’ idea is very appealing – I shall consider that further.”

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