Once in a while, let’s lock the computer!

“Looks like somebody is hardly working today!” *wink* –  a comment I overhear every once in a while at work. That is a well known sarcastic snip at the regular ‘hard-working’ style. This comment came up again when a couple of colleagues were having a friendly chat the other day. More often than not, I guess that’s the leg-pulling conversation starter to chat up with someone. And the reason for the snip? – the computer was locked and yet the individual was at the desk indulged in something that does not involve using a computer (flipping through some documentation, perhaps? or, organizing some thoughts, prioritizing the tasks for the work day ahead, or preparing for a meeting?)

Let me quote another familiar example. This one because am actively [back] in the training domain. 😛 How many of you attended training sessions where the slides were overflowing with content? And yes, I am referring to the instructor led trainings, and not the CBTs (Computer Based Trainings) or the Self-paced training modules off your corporate LMS catalogs. More often than not – in such cases – you will have an instructor available, but only to read the content off the slide. (For the benefit of doubt, on a lighter note, if there is so much content on the slide, obviously the font size will be small and you NEED someone to read it! ;)) However, what am trying to say is, if that’s all you need (slides), am sure a classroom training isn’t the ideal way. The presentation slides, or any props for that matter are to help/ enhance the experience; but that’s not ALL of it! They should be used subtly as necessary for support or emphasis but the discussion or the instruction is the actual “training”. I attended many such sessions where the slides WERE the training, and I wasn’t pleased. Use tools as tools. Dot.

And back to the usage of PCs: Aren’t those just tools to get our work done? While most of the stuff we do needs a PC (for people like us in IT, ITES etc), isn’t there anything we can do offline? Nobody uses a paper and pen these days to review notes from a training or a meeting? I do use PC all the time, not just at office, but at home too! First thing I do when I get home is switch on the computer and the last thing I do when I step out is turn the PC off. Moreover, am always either trying to automate stuff, or connect all devices (say, iPhone) in someway or the other so that they ‘talk to each other’ for information exchange, control etc. What am trying to understand is- is it possible to break this routine at least a little bit and accomplish our tasks otherwise? Let me see- I already moved a dozen books to my office pedestal. I will try not to use the PC for at least 30 mins every day and spend time either reading, researching/ learning through discussions, networking etc. (networking with people, not PCs and routers). If nothing else, let me lock the computer once in a while and take a walk!

Oh by the way- at work, personal email is not allowed through the network (I use iPhone for gmail), social networking is blocked and user permissions does not include any installation rights for fun. And am not pleased with this either. 🙁 However, all the more support to implement the ‘breaking-the-PC-routine-plan!’

How many hours do you spend in front of the computer everyday? If you got any ideas to break the routine, please let me know.

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