For years, I ran my computer with my iChat/AIM Buddy List displayed. Always seemed cool to be able to see my friends online. Call it a weird sort of bonding experience.
About a week ago, as part of an anti-clutter movement on my PowerBook, I got rid of the Buddy List display. With iChat on Mac OS X, it’s an option — you can close the Buddy List window and still be “connected” via a pull down on the top menu bar of Mac OS X. In other words, you can run without your Buddy List being displayed — yet your buddies can still initiate an IM chat with you anytime. Using the same pull down menu, you can also easily set your status to avoid their interruptions when required.
What a difference a day makes. In terms of being able to focus on what you’re really trying to work on, my recent “lessons learned” are: a) shut down your Mail client while you’re trying to do real work (as Ole Eichorn told me long ago) and b) close your iChat/AIM Buddy List window. Yes, you can live without both — just as I learned to give up my old Blackberry addiction almost three years ago!
Ahhh, steps to an ecology of mind! Oh yes, getting up from the desk, taking a walk around the building every hour or so while breathing deeply, doing a few stretches, swirling some sweet water around in my mouth, soaking up the sun and appreciating the wonder of it all — really helps too!