A pretty, though hefty, day-planner was pulled out of a nearby purse and the owner proceeded to take down, using a pen, the contact information of the person she was talking with. We all laughed about how cumbersome the planner was compared to a cell phone. But on the other hand….
“It also doesn’t break if it is dropped.”
“…And doesn’t distract you with games.”
“…And best of all, is simple to use.”
We all had a reason why this low tech solution was preferable to the newer devices we had come to rely upon. But for me the best justification for unplugging was obvious: limiting distraction.
As a writer I have found technology to be super helpful. I can easily edit my work (Imagine what Jane Austen had to go through). I can immediately track ideas and even share them or get feedback on them. I can communicate easily with my editor and track her changes. And, most importantly, I can make multiple copies of my work so that I don’t lose an entire manuscript or project.
And, while I am grateful for all of these benefits to technology, the fact remains that it took me three hours to ever begin working on this blog post, even though it was my top priority. Why?
First I checked email… this led me to two blog posts I had not read yet… from whose content I was reminded I needed to follow-up with a friend about weekend plans… which I then had to discuss with my husband and daughter… which took me from my computer and found me making breakfast rather than working on my blog.
I know I can’t get rid of technology entirely. And I don’t really want to. But I can turn it off; something I plan to do just as soon as I post this blog, tweet it, respond to some comments, and search online for a new day-planner. I should be able to start working on my manuscript just in time to be called away to make dinner.
What do you use to plan your schedule and track contacts? Have you ever gotten lost in technology and found yourself at the end of your day, or worse, at the grocery store without your old fashioned list?
Leave me a comment and let me know how technology effects you, your organization and your writing. I'd love to hear from you!