Over the past few days I have been without the internet at work. Needless to say it means that I have not been able to check my e-mail as often as I would like (sadly I don't have a blackberry) and I have been off of most social networking sites except for at random intervals or in the evenings when I get a chance.
I thought I might go crazy at first, but I have also found myself highly productive. There have been numerous things on my to-do list that just kept getting pushed aside until these past few days. I've been able to knock out a lot of those items on the list and get some work done on topics I wasn't sure I would be able to get to until sometime this summer.
While I have missed some of the banter that I am sure is occurring on Twitter, I don't feel as left out as I thought I would. In fact, not being able to get on-line at will has been a bit of a refresher for me and has been quite nice.
Sometimes we need a change in our routine to get a little perspective back into our lives. A lot of times, we try to stick to what we always do, fearing what would happen if we changed. Unfortunately, this is usually to the detriment of ourselves. How can we get better if we just keep doing things the same way we always did them? The answer is: we can't.
The message for communication is clear - don't just rely on what you currently are doing or have done in the past. Make sure to take a step back and analyze a few things. Are your intros really that good? Can the language used be sharpened more? Do my visuals in the PowerPoint actually make sense? A lot of times we think we know the answers to these and other questions, but a lot of times we don't have the perspective needed to see the problems.
So, my advice to all of you is to take a day or two, and if you can, shut off your computer for a good portion of the day. I know this may not be practical for some of you, but a good banishment from the web can be a good thing (even though I complained about it on Twitter). As for your speeches, take a step back and try to get a fresh look at your speeches and presentations. Are they really doing what you want them to do - or is it just what you've always done. A fresh pair of eyes can do nothing but help.