Some people have jobs that mean they need to be contacted immediately. They have occupations that require them to act quickly in critical situations.
I’d like to think what I do makes the world a slightly better place, but I can’t really think of what a true emergency would look like in my line of work.
Over the years, more and more work-related apps have crept onto my phone. It’s only when I go on holiday with a strict ‘no work’ policy that I reflect on the impact this has on my leisure time.
I’ve worked from home for the last eight years and, for the last six, in a house with a separate home office. I have the ability to literally shut the door on my work at the end of the day and go ‘home’.
Instead, work tends to follow me home through the apps on my phone; despite being relatively disciplined with notifications, I’ve slipped into an unhealthy elision of work and leisure time that diminishes both.
For the last 10 days, while I’ve been on holiday, I uninstalled or disabled all work-related apps on my phone. It’s what I usually do when I’m on holiday: all or nothing.
So far, the only work-related app I’ve re-enabled is my calendar. I’m thinking of keeping it that way.
This evening, I scrolled through the list of apps I had installed and deleted about half of them. The main things I want to use my phone for are communication, music, and short-form reading and writing. Occasionally I use it for navigation, or a contactless payment if I forget my wallet.
I do sometimes wonder what ancient Stoic philosophers would do if they were alive today. What would Marcus Aurelius do? Epictetus? Seneca? Keep it simple, I guess.
This post is Day 27 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com
Those of you who often over-commit or feel too scattered may appreciate a new philosophy I’m trying:
If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then say no.
Meaning: When deciding whether to commit to something, if I feel anything less than, “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” – then my answer is no.
When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”
We’re all busy. We’ve all taken on too much. Saying yes to less is the way out.
A few of us are setting up a co-operative called weareopen.coop. I’ll have more details soon but I’m going to have to dedicate quite a lot of time to this over the next few weeks and months, over and above my current day-to-day stuff with clients for Dynamic Skillset.
As a result, I’ve decided to pull back from several projects and trips that I was planning. These include the BadgeChain group, attending the Groningen Declaration meeting in Cape Town to present on Open Badges and blockchain, and writing a chapter that I said I’d write for an upcoming book. I remain committed to the 2016 Digital Badge Summit, and running a pre-conference workshop at ISTE in June.
I do feel bad about this, but the whole point of being self-employed is to have more control over what I do, when I do it, and who I do it with. I’m looking forward to working in a spirit of solidarity and co-operation, and I want to bring my A-game to give that a chance to flourish.
Image CC BY Ian Liu