Lack of remote control..

As I was sitting in the foyer of the very impressive Said Business school last Wednesday after giving my very quick, and unfortunately quite poor, presentation to the JISC Services Communications Channels workshop (still I was on first and would have made everyone else look good!) I was left wondering two things 1) how the hell do I still let myself get talked into these things? answer: ego! and 2) how do people manage to travel all the time and still get things done?

I have all the tools of the trade – my Nokia E61 smartphone lets me check my email and browse the web (including importantly checking Facebook!) and I usually have my laptop with me and there is often free wifi available…but I just can’t get my head in a place where I can focus on the tasks I need to handle – plus I think I suffer from separation anxiety from my desk!

What I need is some way of shifting my headspace into another way of thinking – someway of making better use of my time when I am out of my comfort zone.

The blogosphere is very keen on the Getting Things Done methodology so maybe thats something I need to take a closer look at. (Has to said though its hard to get past the US marketing bullsh*t upfront!)

It is also increasingly obvious that despite being a pretty constant evangelist for the web as a tool I am personally best served by my moleskine  notebook and JISC pencil!  I just don’t type quick enough to get my thoughts down in any kind of first draft and more and more find myself handwriting drafts of everything first.

However on the other hand my working patterns have evolved to the point that my email inbox is the centre of my work universe – the benefit of GMail is that I can leave just about everything in my inbox, tag each email multiple times and search for anything.  This isn’t quite as successful a technique on the road though!  Even using the GMail mobile application for my phone it is very cut down and not 100% reliable and sometimes I think I would be better off with genuine push email and a standard email client on my desktop (i.e. a combination of a Crackberry and Thunderbird – no way thos guy is ever using Outlook again!).  What I do need though is a bluetooth, foldaway keyboard whatever open I end up taking – not having to use those diddy keys would be a productivity gain in of itself!

I feel its going to be harder and harder to avoid traveling for work in the future and I am certainly not going to get any less busy so these is some urgency about finding a way to handle this..

Oh well hopefully this post has focussed me on what needs to be done and with a busy period coming up I’ll soon have a chance to put it to the test!

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