Mind Share

After reading the pragmatic life post called Punch Out Log Off, I began thinking about a term I call “mind share”. Think of mind share in terms of twitter, but instead of asking “what are you doing right now”, you ask, “what are you thinking about right now?” If you ask yourself this question periodically, you will begin to see some patterns.

For example, let’s say you are spending some quality time with the family. What are you thinking about? Do any of the answers to the mind share question sound like the list below? If so, the people around you are not getting quality time from you and believe me, they can tell:

– “What is the killer feature for idea X that I should build?”
– “I wish my company used REST web services instead of SOAP?”
– “I should tweet that I am hanging out with the fam right now.”
– “Someone is talking to me, and I am looking at them, but I have no idea what they just said.”
– “What a cool idea for an iPhone App. I better write it down.”
– “I think I just heard my iPhone buzz. Was it email, SMS, ebay, Fring, or one of the 700 other possibilities?”

It takes a conscious effort to make sure the people in the room with you are given more priority than the virtual world we work and play in throughout the day. I have been analyzing this in my own life for the past couple years (mostly the negative effects) and have started to understand some of the ways that I can give more mind share to the people I love and compartmentalize my work better.

In part two of this post, I might try to explain some of the things I have been learning that help keep my mind from getting too absorbed in tech. Actually, I may never write part two, if I am successful at punching out and checking in to life at home better.