After a crazy week juggling too many deliverables and deadlines, I settled into our outbound vacation flight and resumed reading my latest homework, Keeping Found Things Found by William Jones. It is so  dense that I have had to consume it in small bites with lots of time to digest Jones’ thoughts on Personal Information Management. The landing announcement broke me out of an intense productivity flow to the realization that I had consumed a full third of the book and synthesized pages of insights for a startup that I am supporting. It was one of my most focused and creative sessions in years. That was when it hit me. As a veteran road warrior I used all those 4-16 hour flights for uninterrupted work. I miss getting to clear my Inbox and deep diving into reports or presentations on a regular basis. In this #WFH world it seems like I spend every day tab hopping and playing whack-a-mole with notification dots. I do not miss the actual flights, just the enforced isolation and productivity of life on the road. What can we do to get it back?

Fish school to confuse predators, ads swarm to confuse prospects

That realization was so strong that I created a quick task to remind myself to write about it after returning from a week swimming with the turtles on my favorite diving island Bonaire. I dive to destress and pursue a familial passion for underwater photography. Yet I did not need a week in the water to drop into that productivity flow on the flight. Instead, I needed separation from the constant flood of alerts, pings, red dots and popups that have crept into our digital lives. We are all drowning in a digital deluge that demands our attention. Carl Sandburg said, “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

Your data owns you in our attention economy unless you arm yourself with the tools and discipline to master it. I confess that I lost my awareness of this challenge when I converted from market analyst back to strategic consulting. I let my client’s needs drive my days (and nights all too often) without adjusting my working habits to keep my productivity and work-life balance high. How about you? Can you finish a complex task without checking notifications or responding to fast requests?

I hope that you will join me on my path back to personal digital autonomy and share your tools, tricks and tips. As some of you may have noticed, I have been doing a lot of research recently on #PersonalInformationManagement, #artificialIntelligence and other #eDiscovery adjacent spheres. I will try to keep my blogs relevant to our legal and #InfoGov worlds or at least give you a disclaimer when I go down a rabbit hole.


Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment or advice. Greg is no longer a journalist and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being published. Do you want to share your own perspective? Greg is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 


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