Most of you who make presentations to large audiences will be familiar with the remote system (pictured left) which sends a signal to the folks in the AV control room who are managing your powerpoint slides. In French, they call this remote the Pavlov, named after the Nobel prize winner, Ivan Pavlov, who is most noted for coming up with this idea of a conditioned reflex.
New digital conditioned reflexes
It seems that, in our frenetic world today, we have all developed some newly minted conditioned reflexes. These include the instinct to draw out one’s smartphone as soon as we have a micro second to wait. Another one is to allow the little badge (pictured right) to draw one’s attention to it and mechanically to click on it. Of course, there’s the ring of the phone, the “you’ve got mail” sound to announce that you have new mail in your inbox, a new chat popup on one or other social media portal or again the Tweetdeck ping… and scores more all vying for our mind.
Take time to save time
The challenge we all have is resetting our instincts. Little by little we have allowed these new forms of attention grabbers to corrupt our attention. Not only do we need to know how to rewire our pavlovian reactions to avoid the temptation to click on the new news, but we also should consider learning how to switch off entirely to allow the mind to wander, to smile without artifice, to rest. There are settings that we can override so that we are actively managing our daily life as opposed to reacting to the next ping. Many of us would save a lot of time and, more importantly, be more effective and productive if we took the time to calibrate those settings (to vibrate or off, etc…). I
tip my hat to my friend Sandrine Joseph who periodically signs out : 1-2-3 Disconnect (see her message left).
Controlling your digital inflow
If Pavlov were alive today, I’m sure he would be spouting on about a new digital “psychological” button that we are all pushing. So, how are you doing with your own Pavlov setting? Don’t you think it would be lovely if we had a button that would allow us to sign out of all unnecessary incoming digital messages and calls. Like all things, this button would have to be used in moderation (unless you don’t need the business!).