1. The telephone. Once again, for those that didn’t get the message the last time, at any given moment there are probably 5-10 different ways of making contact with me that don’t involve my needing to answer a ringing telephone. Facebook, email, text, Facetime, IM, certified mail, fax, telegram, smoke signal, and semaphore, are all perfectly acceptable methods of reaching out to touch someone. Regardless of whether I’m at the office or at home, more often than not I’m doing at least three things at once… and regardless of how important I think you are as a person, the chances of me stopping all of those things to focus exclusively on a phone conversation are slim to none. Translation: You’re going to get a better and more thoughtful response when you send me a text or an email. On the phone, the best you’re going to get is an occasional “uh huh,” and a “what?” now and then when I get distracted by whatever else I’m working on. So please, can we all agree to reserve the actual phone calls to legitimate life and death situations?
2. Facebook advertising. I know I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook, but lately I can’t get past one or two items down through my newsfeed before finding myself looking at some kind of poorly designed add or “sponsored” post. I’m not dumb enough to think that Facebook should be providing their service for free, but I really do wish they’d find some way to make the ads slightly less obtrusive. All the current iteration of ads seem to do is interrupt the general flow of the page and make me wonder how long it’s going to be before enough people are sufficiently annoyed to start heading to the door. I really do believe Facebook is a valuable utility, but they need to do a hell of a lot of fine tuning to make the current brand of in-your-face marketing at least palatable. Until then, I’ll just make it one of my own small personal missions not to do business with any company that spends dollars running these craptastic social marketing spots.
3. Time management. Just because I’m not freaking out, don’t assume that I’m not busy. In work, as in most things, I have a method to my madness. If you watch carefully, between 8AM and about noon, there’s a flurry activity as I clear out whatever ridiculousness showed up in my inbox overnight. After lunch, there’s a bit of a lull, where I can actually catch up on longer range stuff, read the stunning number of memos and policy letters that we publish, do research, or work on PowerPoint. Starting again around 2PM there’s another flurry of email and phone calls as people try to get things off their plate before going home at the end of the day. If I’m sitting, staring intently at one of my monitors, you can go ahead and assume I’m either a) trying to read for comprehension; b) trying to decipher something higher headquarters wrote in a wholly misguided effort to “be helpful”; or c) trying to compose an articulate message that easily comprehensible by all who receive it. What I’m not doing is sitting around, being bored, and looking at lolcats. Usually.