Analogue Makes Life Easier

It may come as a surprise to you that I’ve recently rediscovered some decidedly analogue technology that is helping to increase my productivity.  It comes as a surprise to me because I hate radio.  That is surprising in itself, considering I was a DJ for four years.

The corporatization of rock radio, and the shortening of playlists that went along with it, was enough to put many people off the medium.  When you hear Led Zeppelin every hour on every station, it becomes a tad predictable.  It can also make you sick of them.  Every few years, I put on some Zeppelin and remember how good they were.  You’re better able to appreciate something without the overkill.

But there is something I’ve started listening to on the radio and it allows me to be more productive by multitasking.  This is no mean feat.  Multitasking is not a skill I could ethically include on my resume.  If I try to manage three burners on the stove, for instance, or do something else while dinner is cooking, inevitably something sticks to the pot.  What I listen to is hockey.

By listening to the Canucks games on the radio, I can work at the computer – writing this blog, for instance – without missing the action.  I can hear it without having to watch it.  Then I can watch the highlights on the news later.  I can even take my hands off the keyboard to clap when the good guys score, without seriously interrupting my workflow.  I no longer have to choose between catching the game or working.  I can do both at the same time.  Isn’t that amazing?

Believe it or not, this wouldn’t have occurred to me not so long ago.  Having grown up in the television age, I think of hockey as something you watch.  And when you watch something, you set time aside for it.  But there are other things I want to do, too.  Now, with a little compromise, I can do both.

Of course, I still watch some games, here at home or sometimes in a bar, with a crowd.  You have to take breaks, too.  But I don’t have to watch every game, like I used to.  So, I generally listen to most games on weeknights, rather than watch.

In a digital world that puts everything at our fingertips and encourages us to want it all, there’s a certain irony in an old analogue technology, which I had considered obsolete, enabling me to do more.

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