It’s burning a hole in my desk!

Friday, May 13th, 2005
Yet, the box remains unopened, and the security tape intact.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post words of advice on what I should do relative to my dilemma. So far, over twenty people have written to me or posted comments on my blog. Most tried to provide an argument for why I should give in and rip the box open now. Two people even offered to hold the tablet for me until I was ready.

If I were to give in, the most compelling argument (so far) came from Steve New:
Here is one thing I must disagree with Mr. Allen over. While there are without question thousands of things you can get off your mind by scheduling them for future attention, a new computer in the box is not one of them. To be an adult you need to be honest with yourself. You know you won't be giving your full attention to your client's projects while the untouched Tecra remains in the back of your mind calling to you. I see your blog as a call for help. In your heart you know what to do. Play with it Eric. It's best for you and for your clients that you do.
I think Steve's argument supports the position that owning a new Tablet PC can be disruptive - even if you don't take it out of the box.

Several people appealed to my love of productivity tools, arguing that I would instantly become more productive with the new Tablet PC in hand. Marc and James have even offered to help me set up my new Tablet PC in a live podcast. (That would be fun; we may do this.)

All of this is well and good, but my in-box(es) still overfloweth.

After prayerful consideration, I've decided that to give in to temptation and play with my new tablet before I get my work done would be to undermine everything Kathy and I have taught our children about a strong and balanced work ethic. Work first. Play later.  (Amy and Wendy would like me to believe that I have these priorities reversed.)

If you do the things you need to do, when you need to do them, then you'll have the time to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them - Zig Ziglar.

I'm working as hard as I can to clear my plate of family, school, and work commitments so that I can play and feel good about it.

Discussion/Comments (7):

It´s burning a hole in my desk!

I'm proud of you. I don't think I could stay focussed and finish my work before opening the box. However, since it's been a disruption in productivity every time I've gotten a new/better computer, planning for the right time looks like a good idea. I'm just not sure I could be as dedicated.

Posted at 05/13/2005 16:03:57 by Sherry

It´s not easy

I had to move the box another room

Posted at 05/13/2005 16:04:44 by Eric Mack

2 months of hope

Send it back. 'It is better to travel hopefully than arrive'

Posted at 05/13/2005 17:07:23 by Chas

Is this a toy? Is it a tool?

The dilemma highlights an unclairty here: Is this a toy? Is it a tool? If it is a tool, then maybe we could all learn something about planning and preparation to bring a new tool on line.

Six months into the process and the tablet still sits in the box; how do you do the cost/return analysis on this tool?

Posted at 05/13/2005 20:43:08 by Bob

Next Steps

Bob wrote:

Six months into the process and the tablet still sits in the box; how do you do the cost/return analysis on this tool?

Thanks for your comment, Bob. You bring up a good question.

It's too soon for me to look at the real cost/benefit side of things; I plan to. As for the disruption, I know from experience that any new technology will be disruptive at start-up. I'm excited about the Tablet PC, because I believe that the payoff has the potential to be faster than some other technologies I have worked with. Still, I expect that it will take time for me to get the machine configured the way that I want, with the hardware and software tools that I want. The M4 and my planned additions is no small investment. I'm going to take my time and make sure that I set it up properly.

When I finally committed to buy a tablet, I had plenty of time to dedicate to the start-up phase. Now, due to other commitments, I have less time. If Toshiba had been able to sell me a fully-loaded M200 tablet months ago, I would be inking this blog entry rather than typing it. The good news is that the delay allowed me to learn more about tablets and I was able to purchase the M4, which meets all of the requirements for my ideal tablet. (At least on paper.) I believe that the M4 will be a delightful tablet for my needs. As for opening the box, I'll get to it. I want to be able to dedicate sufficient time to this project to form an honest opinion about the Tablet PC as a productivity tool. You can bet that I'll share my experiences and thoughts here.


Posted at 05/13/2005 22:08:56 by Eric Mack

open open open open open

Eric, I totally understand what you're saying.

however, it's still driving me crazy.

open open open open open..

Posted at 05/14/2005 9:36:06 by jason schleifer

Good choice!


I've taught my kids to "Pay now. Play later", too. You will feel really good about your decision when you have time to "play" with no hassle from your work.

Good choice!

Posted at 05/15/2005 13:08:47 by Dean

Discussion for this entry is now closed.