If you have read my blog before, you will not be surprised that I don’t agree with Penelope Trunk’s views on BlackBerries, found through another excellent post on Law 21, Core competence: 6 new skills now required of lawyers, but her post Stop blaming your Blackberry for your lack of self-discipline is still worth reading, if only because it promotes the myth of the multi-talented, multi-tasking Generation Y-er
If you want to see a whole generation make great choices about their priorities using the Blackberry, then latch onto Generation Y. They have been managing multiple steams of conversation simultaneously for more than a decade, so they are aces at it. And they are fiends for productivity tips. The most popular blogs are productivity blogs, and David Allen is a rock star in this demographic. So young people are constantly using prioritizing tools to make their information and ideas flow more smoothly for both work and life, back and forth, totally braided.
Blackberries are tools for the well-prioritized. If you feel like you’re being ruled by your Blackberry, you probably are. And the only way to free yourself from those shackles is to start prioritizing so that you know at any given moment what is the most important thing to do. Sometimes it will be the Blackberry, and sometimes it won’t. And the first step to doing this shift properly is recognizing that you can be on and off the Blackberry all day as a sign of empowerment.
Penelope is obviously one of those people who takes her BlackBerry to bed (you will have to read the full post to know why) but she is right about prioritising, and time management is one of those 6 new skills now required of lawyers (although I am not so certain that this is really a new skill: it is perhaps more that the pressure of modern practice means it is even more important).
As for the other 5 new skills required, I will come back to these soon.