Being more like my dad

Keeping a lid on communication

I want to be more like my Dad. That doesn’t mean ritualistically drinking a couple of pints of John Smiths every Saturday. It means being a dinosaur. At least from a technology standpoint. What am I talking about? Well my Dad is a master of selective ignorance – just ask my Mum. He has only just stated using a mobile phone (my brothers old Sony Ericsson K800i) and he doesn’t carry it with him all the time, just when he needs to take it out for a specific purpose. My dad does one thing at a time, only gets interrupted by the things that matter and leads, by his own admission, a pretty chilled out life. In this day and age I think that’s awesome.

I’m slowly becoming surrounded by friends and family with Blackberrys and iPhones (I’m still using a K800i), devices that become the centre of one’s social universe. If you’ve ever been out with friends you’ll usually notice that such devices turn into a social crutch for avoiding boredom, updating Facebook statuses and answering any question your group cannot recollect the answer to. Now I maybe in the minority here but, sometimes I like not knowing there and then or having the debate with friends without instantly going to Google.

I recently listened to Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week book for the second time and heard again about how he used Pareto’s 80-20 rule to cut out all non-essential distractions and tasks from his everyday life to increase focus and productivity. I noticed that having my phone on my desk at work, getting calls and texts throughout the day, would interrupt my train of thought and I’d lose time replying or looking something up. I’ve now decided to just leave my phone on silent to pick up missed calls and texts throughout the day and then batch my replies and return calls to lunchtime and after work. The result? Well I’m one day in and I’ve already noticed a positive impact and realised how often I used to use my phone.

All this probably goes out of the window when I end up getting an iPhone in twelve months time because my popularity and social life has taken a dive but, for now, rock on selective ignorance and batching, thanks for showing me the way Dad.