OK… So how many of you out there are addicted to your Blackberrys or iPhones? Well, I confess that I am definitely one of them. I couldn’t live without my Blackberry and here’s why.
Those of you who know me know that I wear many hats. Not only am I the VP of The FlexPro Group, but I also do part-time Project Management work for one of our clients. And like many of you, I am also a spouse and a parent — not to mention a chauffeur to two teenagers!
With the many roles I play, technology has become my best friend. My Blackberry allows me to respond to emails no matter where I am, and people have learned to rely on my responsiveness no matter which hat I am wearing. It gives me the flexibility to communicate from wherever I am. So, while I have to remember that when I need to focus on my family, I can always put my Blackberry on silent, it is indispensable to me as I manage all my responsibilities.
So, if you’ve been thinking about getting a Blackberry or iPhone or some other PDA, go ahead and try it! It will give you the flexibility to not have to be handcuffed to your desk. But here’s a word of caution… Remember that it has an off button and a silent button and YOU are in control. Don’t let it rule your life. I personally keep the e-mail notification tone turned OFF! I decide when to check it. I don’t let it boss me around.
In addition to PDA’s, another important piece of technology is your laptop. Why be stuck at your desk with a desktop computer when you can bring your laptop almost anywhere. When I work from home, I can be working at my laptop while sitting adjacent to my teenagers doing their homework. It’s another way of being there for them.
A laptop also allows you to change your work environment occasionally to stimulate your creativity. If you are working and having trouble thinking, move to a different room, or to a different building. Or in some cases, you can even work outside on a beautiful day. Unchain yourself from that desk and see the creative juices start to flow!
If you work from home at all, another key piece of technology is a good speaker phone or a good headset. It’s important to have a good-quality phone or headset where you can come through on conference calls loud and clear. There is is nothing more annoying than struggling to hear someone clearly over the phone. If you sound as clear as being right there in the office, your peers will be more likely to embrace your flexibility of working from home. Invest in good equipment so that your boss doesn’t let bad reception be the reason that he discourages you from working from home!
This is probably obvious to most people on the planet, but these days, you can’t live without a cell phone. So, if you haven’t quite made the leap to get a Blackberry, iPhone or other PDA, make sure you have a cell phone as the bare minimum to survive in today’s working world. And, consider adding a texting plan for $10/month to make it easier to communicate when other people are busy and can’t call you the traditional way. If you have teenagers, you know how indispensable a texting plan is these days!
So, instead of fighting technology, go ahead and embrace it, to give you the freedom and flexibility to manage your life.