Like many office workers, I bring my sandwiches to work. Like many more, I usually eat them at my desk, dropping crumbs into my keyboard. And it’s rare that I can hold out until after midday to eat them, especially if I’m working on something that requires a lot of concentration and from which I’m happy to be distracted.
But there are times I forget that my sandwiches are in my drawer. When I’m very busy or out and about or in meetings I hardly feel hungry at all.
I was reading a Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog
this morning that made me compare my attitude to my sandwiches to the way I handle email. I’m all too ready to be distracted by the little envelope popping up on my screen when I’m working on something difficult, when I really should be concentrating. However, if I’m engrossed in a project it’ll be an hour before I realise I haven’t looked at my inbox for a while.
According to Tony Schwartz, the HBR blogger, this is the key to beating your email addiction. If you are one of those people who simply can’t be parted from your BlackBerry, start small, he says. Shut down your email for short periods of time, break the bond gently and make sure you focus on something else for that time.
Even better, in this glorious weather (that we’ve been having in the UK at least), leave the BlackBerry behind at lunchtime, take your sandwiches outside and eat them in the sunshine. It means fewer crumbs in your keyboard at least.