Friday, November 03, 2006

Multi-tasking is crap.

183 million people are regularly exposed to noise levels labeled as excessive by the EPA.

Do you have a cell phone?
Do you have a pager?
Do you have voicemail?
How many email accounts do you have?
Do you have a cell phone with voice-mail and e-mail?
Is there anywhere you go that doesn’t have noise?
Do you ever do one thing during an entire day?
Sleep doesn’t count.

Is there such a thing as visual noise?
When was the last time someone asked how you were and your response didn’t include the word “busy”?
Talking is easier than listening.

Why is noise so enjoyable? If it’s not enjoyable, why do we voluntarily subject ourselves to so much of it? Convenience?

How often do you end up responding to email? How often does your Outlook pop up with a brand new email message?

Just for a while, think about how often in the day you are truly focused on something. How would your life change if you weren’t dealing with perpetual partial attention deficit? Do you need to answer every email right away? Do you need to check whatever electronic device that you’re thinking about checking right at this moment?

Are the tools that are supposed to be helping you stealing something from you? The quality of your work? The quality of your relationships? The quality of your attention to something?

There are and will always be emergencies that need to be attended to. But not always. Just something to think about.

SOURCES (for content and some just for philosophy):
(Some) Attention Must Be Paid! (from Newsweek)
43 Folders, which also has a worthwhile podcast available via iTunes.
Nooma “Noise”


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