Recharge your brain.

Battery life of cell phones is horrific. We’re sold on high functionality, communication speed, and beautiful, bright screens, but with all systems up, the phone cannot deliver; we get about half a day. We pare down functionality, and try to make it through the day; we shut off regular requests for updates; we shut down our network connections; dim our screens to save energy. All the high functionality that defines the phone cannot be realized; the functionality that sets it apart from others, the stuff that others only dream of, cannot be realized. Our special capability cannot be used to do our jobs to the fullest; it cannot be used to do our jobs like we know we can.

Another tactic is the power nap – the quick charge in the middle of the day to get us through the crisis. Commandeer a power outlet in a quiet corner, and settle in for a little charge. (Ahh, it feels good to charge up on someone else’s nickel.) But it’s not right that we must ration our capacity for a narrow slice of the day, to save up for a flurry of high-end activity (especially Angry Birds); we should be able to go all day. But we can’t because expectations are out of line with our capability. In this new era of high power draw, our batteries cannot deliver. We must change our behavior.

Nothing beats a regular charge – home at a regular time, turn off the phone, plug in for an uninterrupted charge, and wake up in the morning fully refreshed and ready for full output. For the whole day it’s unique, innovative functionality, all communication networks up and running, and full screen brightness. That’s what you’re paid for, and that’s what you deliver – every day. But if you skip your full charge cycle, even one, it’s back into the unhealthy cycle of half-day battery life and dimmed screens. This is not a good for you, and not a good value for your company. You (and they) need you doing the things only you can do; they (and you) need you contributing at full brightness. Maintaining the regular charge cycle takes discipline, but, over the long term it’s the most productive and enjoyable way to go.

In the new lithium-ion world, we’ve forgotten a hard-learned lesson of the lead-acid era – the trickle charge. With the trickle charge, the battery is taken fully off-line, fully disconnected from the world, with no expectation of output of any kind, and hard-connected to a big charger, a special charger. This charger is usually located in a remote location and hard-wired into a dedicated circuit that cannot be compromised for any reason. For the trickle charge, the battery is connected to the all-powerful charger for two weeks, for a slow, soothing , deep-cycle charge that restores and invigorates. Upon return from the trickle charge, long-forgotten capability is restored and screens are at full brightness.

Used together, ritualistic over-night charging and regular, deep-cycle trickle charging work wonders.

Shut your phone off when you get home and take a long vacation. Your brain needs a re-charge.

Out of office reply: On vacation!

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Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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