I have to admit that this was my favourite of the productivity blockers from a student in the Language and Power class I attended last week. I am a serious admirer of neat printing.
We didn't come up with much for #1 "Starting Point". People talked about doing your best to stick with your priorities, and thinking about long-term benefits.
But for #2, MSN*, there was plenty to say.
"Turn it off," said somebody.
"Is that realistic?" I asked. "I don't use MSN, so I don't know. Can you turn off MSN?"
"No," said pretty much everyone, including, I believe the person who had suggested turning it off. "That would be rude!"
"I've got a real problem," said one of the young women. "My mom is IMing me all the time and I can't get her to understand that I've got work to do. She's like 'but wait, I've just found out how to change fonts and colours!"
It looked like we were going to have to throw our hands in the air. I shared my old-fashioned email technique of setting Outlook to only download emails every half hour, but that clearly was not an appropriate solution.
However, one of the students provided these tips:
- He sets his status to busy.
- He changes his screen name to "working on a paper".
"That way only people who really need to talk to me send messages, and if I need help with something, I can find someone."
* Hi Mom, MSN Messenger is this instant messaging (IMing) software all the young folks use to communicate with the people they are not talking to on their cell phones.