I have been an evangelist of mobility for years, touting and practising the benefits of staying connected anytime, anywhere.
However, I am regularly reminded of the disadvantages of being mobile.
The greatest problems with mobile tend to hover around non-personal contacts who want your time, anytime, even when it is inconvenient for you. For example, I have had people call me at 11 p.m. for something that could easilly have been dealt with during the day. If you are a public figure or popular person, this can easilly develop into a spin.
Being mobile can rob you of your precious private time, rob you of intimacy with family and friends, and rob you of your much needed rest. In other words, your mobile can rob you of a life (if you have one, that is).
Here are a few tips to keep yourself from being enslaved to your mobile:
- As a rule, do not give your personal, private mobile number to clients and customers. You are likely to regret giving it to them at some point in time. Give them the office number instead and insist that your mobile line is for private use. Alternatively, have a second line that you give out for those not in your private life and give that out instead.
- Use Caller ID. If you get a call from a number not on your personal contacts list in the early and/or late hours of the day, refuse to take the call.
- If you have an official mobile line, switch it off (or put it on Silent) when on holidays, during early and late hours, and on weekends
- Where necesarry and possible, insist on email. The great thing about email is that it is less intrusive. You can manage your mails in accordance with their priority levels. In a world where everyone wants your attention and want it now, this is a great communications channel. Email lets you deal with what is really important now and less important things as your schedule permits.
- Even if you have email on your phone, remember when that new email alert sounds that you do not have to jump to attend to it now – except of course your job has to do with national security!
Someone has rightly said that the really great thing about phones is that if you leave them alone, they eventually stop ringing. I wholeheartedly agree.
Learn to leave your phone alone.