Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Multitasking or Multidistracting?

Today, I started doing about 100 things and then the phone rang or I got an AIM or an email and I diverted to the new thing which then led to being diverted to the new thing.  By the end of the day, I had worked on at least 3 big projects but didn't complete any of them. Luckily, I made progress and none of them are due tomorrow...

I have to go back to that Yale professor's book...I think it is called "Happy" or something like that...He did a lecture on PBS (I think I posted about it...I will have to look it up) and talked about how our IQ drops 10 points when we are multitasking. I know that the perception is that people who can super-duper multi-task are more productive and more successful, but I KNOW that I am more productive, accurate and clearheaded when I can focus on one thing at a time.

When I first started this job, I felt like I had suddenly developed ADD or something...the layers of multitasking, the fast pace of change and technology seemed related to the job, but I realize now that we were just on the cutting edge. Working in the telecommunications field in a specialized area just means we were facing some of those issues earlier than the mainstream. In the beginning, it was fun to have a smart phone, to have AIM and email and phone and text with a pop out keyboard and to have instant access to communication. Now, five years later, I can't wait to unplug when I get home.

On the way out of the office today, I decided I was going to make a list of all the daily things I need to do and then a list of projects and a list of things I WANT to do. Then I'm going to come up with some kind of plan to try to limit the unnecessary distractions. The phone is always going to ring and people will need to talk, but there are some distractions I can work to minimize so that I can regain some sense of sanity.

Oh - completely off topic - bought plane tickets to go to Sacramento to visit my friends. I can't wait!! There for a few days of R&R, then back to start rehearsals for "The Lion King". Yay!

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