Recently, I was asked to speak about Mindfulness At Work In A Digital Age. The first thing that popped into my mind as I prepared my notes, was this dead zone that I have in my living room. It is right next to my blue sideboard and it’s a spot from where I can settle into my couch and work.
Oftentimes, it reminds me of the final frontier in the original Star Trek movie because it’s a place where no one dares to boldly go.
And that’s only because there is no WiFi.
This no WiFi zone, it turns out, makes my green couch one of the favourite spots in my home for doing focused work. I get a ton of writing done in that dead zone. I work on proposals and new ideas uninterrupted without the shiny squares that populate my phone and laptop pinging all the time. It’s a spot where I can get my deepest work done in the evening and late into the night.
My picture of productivity used to be a little different in the daytime. Okay, confession, vastly different. My browser was nightmarish: my work email in the left-most tab was almost always open. Hootsuite and Planoly, my two planning apps were never closed.
My Word and Google docs tabs were like my best friends filled with projects I was working on and I was always on them. The next tab that always remained opened was my calendar followed by Forward Forty on all its varied platforms. Then there were the myriad of articles I wanted to read and some of which I actually did. Of course, my phone was always within reach.
You get where I am going with this, right? Being so switched on made it impossible to be really productive and my guess is that I was not unique. In our culture of 24/7 connectivity, we may be doing our least mindful work and it took a dead-zone in my living room to show me just that.