Last weekend, with my co-founders, I was working on a time sensitive project in my living room. They were sitting around the dining table with each of them having a laptop open in front of them. We had to get some work done and decided to make dinner together and make it a “work and eat” session. It was a creative session and we were working on a script for a radio show we have recently launched.
What I observed was that we all had multiple sessions of windows open and one of them was constant across every laptop on the dining table – this was THE FB window.
I was pleasantly surprised by this observation. And then started to pay attention to how each of them was using it.
To my surprise, no one was distracted by it (as per the popular belief). On the contrary it was used to take a break and check out the conversation for a bit and come back to work. And it was amazing how each one was always effectively contributing AND we were not disconnected from our world. I did observe that we went straight to the News Feed, scrolled down to see what was the current activity among our friends and came back to the task at hand… and all this sometimes happened in a matter of split seconds!
Almost reminded of the book by Malcolm Gladwell: BLINK: The power of thinking without thinking. I saw ALL of us “essentially seeing something that doesn’t register at the conscious-level but provides us a gut-feel about the thing”. Behind this behavior, the intention is to stay connected and enjoy our social interactions which is big part of our lives while we do our best work.
I think FB window is not a distraction but a sense of connection in your day’s work. I believe with the advancement of technology and mobile communications, we are no longer able to separate work and life. So, if we are able to make a comment, like a status and check a pic of our friend on a vacation – we get a sneak peek into their lives – connect, comment, like and share while we are working. All this is based on our gut-feel, the first impression of the status – the power of our sub-conscious mind.
At work, sometimes we deal with people we don’t like or people who mean nothing to us and part of the work life issue is that you get to spend less time with people who matter. I felt this could play directly into feeling motivated with being able to contribute to our friends who matter…I have learnt about accidents, operations, movements, birthdays and baby showers on FB and made instant calls, comments and even visits based on my gut feelings.
Of course! like everything – “Too much of everything is BAD”. Moderation is key. And you need to be aware of this habit not to get lost in it but to find yourself and get back to being more productive!
—Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle