Last  week, my laptop went on strike. I arrived at the office on Monday, hit the on button and nothing happened. A few hours later, in discussion with our IT specialist, it’s proclaimed to be a "motherboard issue" and rushed to a laptop intensive care unit. For at least 6 days.

So over the last 6 days (and actually it’s still not fixed), I’ve been virtually without technology. I’ve had to work like I used to do "back in the day". And it’s been such a liberating experience I thought I’d share a key learning point with you.

The most important consequence of this short circuit, is that it made me work differently with my colleagues and clients. It means that I have to use the phone more, rather than email. As I’ve nothing to "distract me", I’m working on the challenges that are most important, rather than those that are most pressing. I’m involving the team more through discussion and interaction. Because I can’t sit at my desk with my PC, (and perhaps waste time with the internet, email or other "distractions") I’m making my team work differently as well so that we are working together more. And as one of the team said last week – "we’ve connected more effectively this week".

Not a great endorsement of my previous working practices I dare say! But, personal embarrassment aside, I wonder how many of us use IM, SMS, email or chat functions, rather than the more personal, human side of interaction: phoning, meeting, greeting, and actually working with our colleagues and clients. How many of us have our days dictated by the Inbox arrivals, as opposed to our preferred, "strategic" work? 

I know the last few days before Christmas are manic with performance appraisals, bonus schemes, workforce planning, budgets etc (as well as hangovers perhaps?) but I wonder whether maybe taking the last few days before the break to work like we did "back in the day" might make a huge difference to our enjoyment of work, our connections with our colleagues and perhaps our productivity?

So our Christmas challenge is keep the PC switched off and see if you get switched on to work again.

Have a great week and a great Christmas.

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