— “Career Advice” by quinn.anya
Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.
— Lord Chesterfield, British Statesman, Diplomat and Wit, 1694-1773
It’s not an uncommon theme for me; I’m constantly complaining and linking to articles about excessive multitasking and at the same time I juggle a half-dozen or more tasks, and I almost consider it a point of pride that I have an ear out for other people’s problems- ready to help out if I know a quick answer to someone’s issue.
It’s at odds with what I want. I would prefer deep thought over shallow, single-tasking over multitasking and concentration over distraction.
At least, I say I do.
As I was reading The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains, I had to constantly stop myself scrolling past where I was reading, skipping sentences and paragraphs entirely and being distracted by my thoughts and the blog entry I was going to write instead of digesting the article properly. Yes. I had started to word this in my head before I’d even finished reading the original. tl;dr.
A little bit of me is worried, scared even, that my value as a techie is based on this shallowness, something I am really quite good at. (IMESHO). I might find that if I focus and set my mind to achieving a single goal or producing a very high quality solution to a problem that I’ll emerge the other side to find out my work is no longer relevant, or that someone more hyper-connected than me has found a quicker semi-canned 80/20 solution or even just that I look up from my work and find an insurmountable pile of other things waiting for me.
I think that “disconnect and concentrate more” is the new 5-a-day and 10,000 steps – everyone knows what’s good for them, but few people actually make room in their lives to pursue those things. Like the feeling when I give into the chocolate box (again), I am self aware enough to dislike myself for it, but not strong willed enough to stop.