Continually experimenting with new ideas and techniques — Reconstructing, Developing, Modernising.
Last night I had a chance to catch up with some colleagues from Exegenix, about four years after leaving. It was great to see them again, and it reminded me that, for me at least, the most engaging aspect of work is the opportunity for relationships with other people. It also showed me how much I forget, and how generously my memory lets the less pleasant aspects of things gently fade away. The past somehow always seems a little more pleasant that it was, and the pace of life seemed to allow for more reflective activities.
That led me to think about all the ways we have these days to keep up with people, and how I need to limit the energy that I put into the technology to leave more for the relationships. I looked at Facebook for the first time yesterday, and I am amazed but not surprised by its addictive shallowness. I have a hard enough time keeping on-task without the distracting siren’s cry of another “funny” or “got to see” YouTube video. For me it looks like another technology to put on the pile with all the other “might be helpful if it didn’t involve being at a computer and having to expend energy ignoring distractions” technologies until I master focusing. So the ways I stay in touch with people are essentially email (or Christmas cards) and occasionally the phone if it is really urgent.
Reflecting on the last couple of paragraphs it seems that a key skill I need to develop is not getting caught up in the urgency of the moment by default, instead I can learn how to pause and consider interruptions and learn to defer or ignore those which don’t need my immediate attention.