Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Key is Integration, But Not at the Same Time

Douglas Merrill, former Google and EMI Music executive, has just published a new book called Getting Organized in the Google Era. The key to balance, Merrill states, is integrating, not compartmentalizing the two. And of course the ex-Googlite suggests using technology to make that happen.

A big fan of Google Calendar, I can attest that sharing all relevant scheduling information with the right people (from your assistant to your Boss to your spouse and babysitter) is key to getting it all done. However, I think Merrill's big takeaway here is that you should use technology to combine the two, but single (not multi-task) to get it all done. He describes the physiology of why this work but boils it down to, "there's a big difference between checking your BlackBerry in the middle of dinner at a restaurant with your spouse and doing solo while alone in a grocery line."

For a week, I'm going to try this. I will put down urges to multi-task (e.g. typing an email while dialing a phone number) and will resist all urges to whip out ye ole iphone while enjoying a gorgeous Washington, DC spring afternoon at the park with my kids. I'll let you know if Merrill's right!

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