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PDA Etiquette

As our Blackberries, iPhones, Windows Mobile Devices, Palms and a host of other hand-held "offices" invade our lives more and more it becomes clear that many people need some basic rules around their usage!

I am a productivity junkie and absolutely love the fact that "being connected" allows me to stay in touch with my business without being shackled to the office ... but there are definite limits!

1. Meetings!

PDAs should really be banned from meetings. How many times do you see the people around you looking intently at their kneecap, and all of a sudden their attention is absolutely somewhere else. Its rude! It does not value the other people in the meeting and it wastes their time.

At the very minimum the things should be set to silent ... NOT vibrate!!! We can all hear the thing going off every 30 seconds and watch your body language change every time it happens. "Gee ... I wonder if that is important?"

2. Meals!

Don't leave the thing on the table ... its really bad manners. Leave it holstered, turn it off or turn it to silent. Do NOT take calls or look at emails unless there is some emergency brewing in which case state that up front ... and go somewhere private for your call (and don't use your foghorn voice)!

PDA junkies disrupt not only those they are sitting with but those around them too. How often have you been distracted at lunch or dinner by the buzzing PDA on the table next to you, or worse still by the person talking on it!

3. At Home and on holiday.

Unless you are the President of the United States, or some equally important person there is absolutely no reason to have 24 hours access to email while you are on "personal time".

As a business owner I like to know what is going on, so I do keep in touch. However a buzzing PDA, or constant checking for emails or working the keyboard while on the beach or out on tour or when you and your family are "relaxing" is just nuts! Its a bad example for the kids, its rude to your spouse and it makes you an extremely one dimensional (read BORING) person! Oh ... and don't even go there with the PDA on the bedside table!!!!

So people ... get a life!

The blackberries are GREAT ... but don't let them take over your lives!