Dot Calm

The Search for Sanity in a Wired World

Debra Dinnocenzo (Author) | Richard Swegan (Author)

Publication date: 01/01/2001

Dot Calm
  • Provides detailed, practical solutions to the problems of information, access, and work overload
  • Offers real-life examples of individuals who have managed to reclaim their lives without compromising their careers-and tells how they did it
  • Shows organizations alternative approaches to increasing productivity without overloading workers

For millions of people, technology is making their lives harder, not easier. They're bombarded with so much information they can barely read it, let alone process it. They're tied to the office-through email, cell phones, pagers, voice mail and fax machines-24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their sense of balance is under assault from the relentless onslaught of data and the feeling that they must be constantly "connected."

For everyone who yearns to simplify life, slow down, and get centered, all without compromising their career, Dot Calm offers more than hope-it offers answers. Based on the authors' in-depth interviews and survey results, Dot Calm outlines a wide variety of proven tactics that real people in all walks of life are using to cope with the ubiquitous problems of information, access, and work overload. This book provides an unprecedented chance to leverage the success strategies of people who have managed to sever the "electronic tether" that kept them constantly bound to their jobs.

Dinnocenzo and Swegan show that you don't have to sacrifice productivity or efficiency to have a sane, balanced life. On the contrary-technology can so overwhelm people with data that they have a hard time focusing on those activities that truly matter. Unplugging will actually make you more effective.

Dot Calm is fundamentally a book of solutions, not just an analysis of a problem. Dinnocenzo and Swegan offer a variety of tools, exercises, and examples that will help readers:

  • Reconcile their personal priorities and values with the demands of their work
  • Leave the office-especially the virtual office-behind and create space and time to recharge their batteries
  • Put reasonable limits on their accessibility
  • Organize and prioritize the endless electronic clutter in their lives
  • Maintain human contact and create community in a world of faceless electronic communication
  • Design a personal plan for navigating the delicate balance between organizational and individual needs

Doing more and doing it faster doesn't mean that people are doing the right things to achieve the right results. And the price we pay-in stress, disrupted lives, and loss of human contact-is one more and more people are unwilling to pay. Through a process of analysis, self-insight, and priority setting, Dot Calm helps readers identify and stick to their priorities and strike a reasonable balance between life and work.

  • Provides detailed, practical solutions to the problems of information, access, and work overload
  • Offers real-life examples of individuals who have managed to reclaim their lives without compromising their careers-and tells how they did it
  • Shows organizations alternative approaches to increasing productivity without overloading workers

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt


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Overview

  • Provides detailed, practical solutions to the problems of information, access, and work overload
  • Offers real-life examples of individuals who have managed to reclaim their lives without compromising their careers-and tells how they did it
  • Shows organizations alternative approaches to increasing productivity without overloading workers

For millions of people, technology is making their lives harder, not easier. They're bombarded with so much information they can barely read it, let alone process it. They're tied to the office-through email, cell phones, pagers, voice mail and fax machines-24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their sense of balance is under assault from the relentless onslaught of data and the feeling that they must be constantly "connected."

For everyone who yearns to simplify life, slow down, and get centered, all without compromising their career, Dot Calm offers more than hope-it offers answers. Based on the authors' in-depth interviews and survey results, Dot Calm outlines a wide variety of proven tactics that real people in all walks of life are using to cope with the ubiquitous problems of information, access, and work overload. This book provides an unprecedented chance to leverage the success strategies of people who have managed to sever the "electronic tether" that kept them constantly bound to their jobs.

Dinnocenzo and Swegan show that you don't have to sacrifice productivity or efficiency to have a sane, balanced life. On the contrary-technology can so overwhelm people with data that they have a hard time focusing on those activities that truly matter. Unplugging will actually make you more effective.

Dot Calm is fundamentally a book of solutions, not just an analysis of a problem. Dinnocenzo and Swegan offer a variety of tools, exercises, and examples that will help readers:

  • Reconcile their personal priorities and values with the demands of their work
  • Leave the office-especially the virtual office-behind and create space and time to recharge their batteries
  • Put reasonable limits on their accessibility
  • Organize and prioritize the endless electronic clutter in their lives
  • Maintain human contact and create community in a world of faceless electronic communication
  • Design a personal plan for navigating the delicate balance between organizational and individual needs

Doing more and doing it faster doesn't mean that people are doing the right things to achieve the right results. And the price we pay-in stress, disrupted lives, and loss of human contact-is one more and more people are unwilling to pay. Through a process of analysis, self-insight, and priority setting, Dot Calm helps readers identify and stick to their priorities and strike a reasonable balance between life and work.

  • Provides detailed, practical solutions to the problems of information, access, and work overload
  • Offers real-life examples of individuals who have managed to reclaim their lives without compromising their careers-and tells how they did it
  • Shows organizations alternative approaches to increasing productivity without overloading workers

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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - Debra Dinnocenzo

Debra A. Dinnocenzo is president of VirtualWorks!, a learning and development firm specializing in tools and resources for leaders and teams working together from a distance.   She is a consultant and speaker, with expertise in virtual workplace issues including virtual leadership, virtual teams, telework, and work-life balance.  She serves on numerous boards of directors and holds an adjunct faculty position with Duquesne University where she teaches the online graduate course, ""Leadership in the Virtual Workplace.""

Debra A. Dinnocenzo is a veteran executive telecommuter and president of ALLearnatives, a training and consulting firm which offers products and services to telecommuters and organizations involved in telecommuting. In 1997 she was awarded runner-up honors in the Home Sweet Home-Office Contest sponsored by Sales & Marketing Management magazine. She was senior vice president of marketing for Learning International, a worldwide sales performance and training company and a division of Times Mirror. She is the author of 101 Tips for Telecommuters.

For more information, visit Debra's website at www.TipsForTelecommuters.com.-->



Visit Author Page - Richard Swegan


Rick Swegan is a senior organizational consultant with Right Management.  He worked previously at Development Dimensions Intl. where he was an award-winning member of the DDI sales.  He has more than thirty years of experience in sales, consulting, human resource management, and as a platform trainer, group facilitator, and college administrator.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Take Heed of Net Speed!
Over-connected, over-worked, over-informed and overwhelmed
Chapter 2: Launch the Search Engine Within
Personal diagnosis and insights
Chapter 3: How Organizations Help and Hinder
The problems-and the potential-that lurk in organizations
Chapter 4: SOLUTIONS: The Connection Conundrum
Choosing how much or how little to be connected and accessible
Chapter 5: SOLUTIONS: Unplug to Reenergize
Disconnecting and creating moments of serenity
Chapter 6: SOLUTIONS: Techno-Triage
Filtering for critical information
Chapter 7: SOLUTIONS: Creating Community
Connecting with others-the lost art of human contact
Chapter 8: Your Digital Divide
Exploring possibilities, making personal choices and implementing solutions
Chapter 9: Reminders-For Those Who Don't Own a Retrospectoscope
The power of perspective combined with a strong sense of priorities

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Excerpt

Dot Calm

Part One
Problem/Opportunity

It begins almost imperceptibly. A small voice within quietly whispers. Its persistence becomes somewhat familiar—a soothing sound that both nudges and nurtures. Words are not formed, though the feeling becomes clearer. And you slowly begin to understand. It is like a radio signal that is garbled by static, though the station is unquestionably transmitting. And as you travel forth, the static dissipates, the sounds emerge into words, and the small voice within is heard clearly:


Something Is Not Right!


This is the often slow and circuitous route by which you come to realize that your life is out of balance and that any semblance of control is only a distant memory, having long since been replaced by an overwhelming sense of O-V-E-R-L-O-A-D.

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Throughout this book you will find sections set off by large quotation marks. These are direct quotes from respondents whose comments, provided via interview or survey, were especially relevant or poignant. We did not create any of these quotes. Each is an authentic—and sometimes instructive, provocative, or sad—statement from a real person. The authors are grateful to these contributors who offered such valuable insights, ideas, and wisdom.

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This overload of information, communication, and the demands of work is beginning to take its toll. How often do you:


  • Feel inundated by the volume and pace of information that relentlessly streams your way each day?
  • Yearn for the days when taking a vacation meant that the office didn’t travel with you?
  • Let phone calls interrupt precious time with family and wonder where to draw the line on the intrusion into your life that technology enables?
  • Feel that “the faster I go, the behinder I get” as you satisfy the demand to operate at net speed, while seeking the elusive work/life balance you so desperately desire?
  • Wish you could simplify your life, slow your pace, feel more sane and balanced?
  • Feel the desire to be connected—not to networks or databases or message systems or wireless access, but to something deeper, higher, greater… and to others?

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Access to information is so fast now that I try to get done as much as I can as fast as I can. Therefore, I try to put more on my plate because I can get it done quicker, which leads to more stress and shorter deadlines. Add in e-mail and having to manage that—and it can cause havoc in your life.


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I close the door to my office and leave it all behind. I focus on family. Work comes and goes, things come and go, but family is eternal. I am going to focus on the eternal things, because they are the important things. All this fuss we make about our livelihoods stops after we die. The family doesn’t.


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WHAT TO DO? This is, of course, the operative question. While we can enumerate the virtues of technology and the myriad advantages we all enjoy as a result of nearly limitless access to information and communication resources, let’s face it—most of us are exhausted, stressed out, frenetic, and oftentimes unfocused. Further, regardless of the technology tools we currently use to stay informed, connected, and tethered to our work, expect them to be replaced by newer, faster, and more intrusive tools aimed at increased productivity or accessibility. Improved technological tools and resources will not inherently minimize related problems without a conscious effort to manage the ways you deploy that technology in your work and life.

In the spirit of the simplicity everyone seems to crave, we have made every effort throughout this book to be efficient in the way information is provided and the ways you can access and apply it. Our hope is to transform the voice so that the calm, persistent message within you evolves to:


It Will Be All Right!


The wealth of ideas and solutions we have compiled were gathered through interviews, questionnaires, conversations, and e-mail messages involving people from a wide variety of jobs, industries, and career stages. From hundreds of sources, we have distilled the essence of their searching—the challenges, choices, and solutions for managing overload and achieving balance. So, as you read, bear in mind that we wrote according to the “rule of reality,” recounting the struggles and successes shared with us by so many contributors. The stories are real, the frustrations authentic, and the solutions rooted in real-world questions that beg for answers. Out of these myriad suggestions and solutions, we trust you will find a kindred voice that speaks to your needs and offers solutions for which you, too, have been searching.

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Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

—Albert Einstein

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Endorsements

"Tremendously relevant, insightful and wise in learning how to effectively cope in today's 'techno' world. Read it and gain back your time, your sanity, your relationships, your life."

-- Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"A quick read....with lasting benefits. This wise book is your must-have guide through the maze of work and life choices you make on a daily basis."

-- Diane Hessan, CEO, Communispace Corporation

"In a wired, fast cycle time, high pressured and total change world, people need to find balance before they say "e-NUF!". Dot Calm is a breath of fresh air, presenting practical and healthy approaches to finding balance in the digital age."

-- Elliott Masie, Publisher, TechLearn TRENDS and President, The MASIE Center

"Dot Calm explores the infinite ways in which work and life can mutually thrive. It will give you the ability to add a critical three-dimensional balance to the nonstop world of the New Economy."

-- James Daly, Editor In Chief, Business 2.0

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