Does the computer take over your life?

An interesting article has been circulating around Microsoft of late regarding Office or Home A.D.D. Ok, let's be honest how many of you are walking outside reading e-mail on you Smart Phone or at home with your family and friends and reading e-mail instead of engaging in conversation with them?

I can say that I do not read e-mail on my Smart Phone because I have not yet upgraded. Truth be told one of the reasons I have resisted is that I do not want it to take over my like my computer has at home. So I have stopped one form of interruption.

There are many nights when the kids want me to read to them and I say just a minute while I read e-mail or browse the Internet. Other times Ellen or I are up late on the computer instead of spending time with each other. We both agree that the computer is addictive and takes away our energy to work on what is important at both work and home.

This article by By Tom McGrath, Men's Health provides the following suggestions:

  • Protect morning bursts: protect the first 60 - 90 minutes of each day before reading e-mail
  • Monitor online time: if you know how much time you are spending it will help to cut back
  • Talk to your boss: discuss whether an instant response if necessary
  • Change the office rules: only check e-mail between certain hours
  • Empty your inbox: Only handle it once and check e-mail at specified times in the day maybe 10, after lunch, 3:30
  • Build the walls back up: Do not read e-mails at home

So what am I doing about it? During the period of time that the kids are getting ready for bed, we will not be on the computer. Additionally, many weekends I do not open my work computer so I am not tempted to respond to an e-mail which can wait until Monday. So I am employing some of the suggestions. The next one that I want to employe is the protect morning bursts.

As for following the changes, I would give myself a C. I am not as disciplined as I would like on keeping e-mail and the computer out of the bed time routine. I do feel good about spending more time with my children on the weekends reading, playing, going to the pool and attending their soccer games instead of reading work e-mail. I now need to spend less time on my home computer surfing the net.

Check out the article and let me know what you are doing to reduce the constant distractions of the computer and yet be successful at your job.

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