Who Said I Couldnt Multitask ... A Cautionary Tale
The other day I was sitting at my desk getting some work done. At the same time, I was watching tweets pop up on TweetDeck (retweeting ones that I like, of course) and instant messaging a client on AIM, when the phone rang. So I take the phone call, start talking and a text message pops up on my phone. All the while I’m sitting in front of Excel crunching some numbers.
And my wife tells me I’m horrible at multitasking!
These days I sit in meetings and never get to look someone in the eyes. Why? People are always looking down at their BlackBerrys and iPhones. Let’s call it “the smartphone stoop.”
The other night my wife, 10-year-old son and I jump in bed to watch TV. Two minutes later, I look over and my wife's on her BlackBerry, my son is on his DSi and I’m responding to an email on my iPhone. The picture of the modern family, I guess.
I can’t believe how much has changed in the way we communicate. Ten years ago I didn’t carry a cell phone. Now, I have a whole office in my pocket!
It’s bad enough that my office follows me into my car and bedroom, but it even follows me into the bathroom! (Sorry, let those calls and texts go to voice mail.)
Sometimes I wish none of this technology ever existed. Our world moves too fast. Heck, I move too fast.
Everything we do today on high speed (and sometimes on autopilot) has an effect. Mistakes happen with all this multitasking, for instance. And sometimes those mistakes play themselves out with your employees, bosses, clients and customers. Other times mistakes — seemingly harmless at the time — wind up on the internet, being reviewed millions of times on social media sites.
Just a thought; back to business next week.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog, direct marketing and social media agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect or read his blog at gilbertdirectmarketing.wordpress.com/.