Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Trouble With Smart Phones

blog500 It’s so good to be back and blogging again! I missed it more than I’d thought---and especially missed visiting with all of y’all!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, starting out with the book tour and then ending up by catching up with family in Alabama and South Carolina—and my daughter’s 9th birthday and subsequent party.

One thing that’s been different from other trips out of state is that I was more plugged in than usual.

I’ve always traveled with my laptop, but usually didn’t connect unless I was at a coffee shop or library.

But now I’ve got a smart phone—the Droid. And, as I’m discovering, it looks like it can do practically anything. Am I lost? (And I had my lost moments on the book tour.) Not for long-- I’ve got GPS on the phone and call ask the phone where my destination is. Should I plan outdoor activities tomorrow? Check the weather on the phone. Should I go home and leaf through all the ads in the Sunday paper to find out who has the best deal on school supplies? No…just check it on the phone.

In fact, in a short period of time, my list of things to do has shrunk because I’m getting instant information.

And, boy, does this have a downside.

In the past, when I’ve needed to get some writing done, I’ve escaped—to a place with no Wi-Fi. That way I couldn’t check emails, Twitter, Facebook, the news, or blogs.

Now, there is no escape.

Which means it’s down to me and self-discipline. And my self-discipline varies from day to day. Especially with this devilish distraction in my pocketbook.

I’m thinking I should go back to super-scheduling my time just until I get caught back up and back into the groove again. And, when I’m not working on a couple of deadlines, maybe it won’t matter if I mess around with my phone from time to time.

So, since I’m a list-making and schedule-following junkie, here is my plan:

5:00 a.m.ish: Check emails, but I’m only scanning for really alarming subjects like “Guest Post Today?!” or calendar reminders.

Then start writing. (And make sure the kids are fed, packed up, dressed appropriately, and carpooled to school.)

After I write, I can make sure that Blogger hasn’t eaten my blog post du jour, that Twitter is running on schedule (I tweet ahead) and that I’ve got some sort of a blog post to run the next day.

And probably then read and reply to emails—which does usually take a little time.

And I’ll put my phone wayyyyy across the room. And turn off the internet on my laptop.

Are any of you getting even more distractions in your life? How are you dealing with them?