A few days ago, I got into the office a little late after meeting a colleague for coffee. When I finally sat down to my desk, I had five voicemails, about 30 emails, some mail to go through (yes, I still get snail mail), and a few text messages. It wasn’t that late in the morning, and yet I already had plenty of correspondence and data floating around my desk. I think of myself as being pretty organized and efficient, but some days, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what my top priority should be and where to actually start.
Information is everywhere, and I don’t just mean that there’s a lot of it. I mean that it’s stored everywhere – in the cloud, on hard drives, on any number of other various storage devices. For example, not that long ago, my wife was searching through dozens of CDs looking for a specific photo. After a few hours of loading and unloading CDs from the computer, she eventually found it, but decided at that point to start storing all of the family photos in the cloud. She thought this move would make finding specific photos easier, but now she has to remember if the photos were saved to a photo site, posted on Facebook or Instagram, or if they’re still on the camera. While cloud computing has certainly put everything a click or touch away, remembering which application to click or touch can be just as tedious as remembering on which CD or USB drive your documents are.
I remember the day my son came home very excited about a car. It was not long after he received his driver’s license, and of course it’s no fun for a 17 year old to ask to borrow the family-mobile (he knew better than to ask to borrow my sports car), so he had been looking for his own. After scouring the newspapers and car lots, he found one on a used car lot that, with a little help on the down payment and insurance, he could afford.
If you’re like me, you barely have enough time to do the things you need to do, let alone the things you want to do. Things that don’t fall into the “need to” category get added to a growing list that for me includes things such as learning another language and helicopter skiing.
On a recent road trip to visit a client, I noticed all of the fast food restaurants along the interstate. I’m not much of a fast food eater, but over the years, I have learned that the restaurants along the interstate aren’t quite as nice as the city ones in terms of overall cleanliness and customer service. I suppose one reason for this is that the ones along the interstate know their customers are primarily going to be people just passing through – they probably won’t ever see them again. On the other hand, the restaurants in the city always want you to come back, so they put forth a little more effort into making your experience a pleasant one.