What’s Your Signal/Noise Ratio?

Your Blackberry. Your iPhone. Your Treo. I might as well be speaking about one of your appendages. If you are like most technology savvy businesspeople, you might sooner lose your left thumb than your PDA. Ever think about whether that PDA makes you more productive? Take a look at the data in the link below from Digital Life America. It seems that the jury is still out.

See Results from Digital Life America

I believe that Blackberries et al can be great productivity tools when used properly, but most people allow way too much noise to come through. When your stuck waiting at O’Hare Airport because your flight to Toledo is delayed for two hours, you’ve got a perfect opportunity to whip out the PDA and answer old emails. The synchronization with Outlook or other calendar programs is enormously helpful. If you stay focused in meetings and don’t reach for your PDA every time it heaves on your hip, then you are a power user.

I hope you are not like someone I know. He checks his Blackberry seventy to one hundred times per day. Most of his texts or emails are to friends and the subject matter is way off the business critical path. If my friend receives a message, he will interrupt his conversation to scribe a hasty reply. Do you know someone like this?

If most of what you do is signal, congratulations. Once the din of the noise crowds out the critical path content that you sought when you bought the PDA, it may be time to chuck it in the river and start getting productive again.