Monday, December 29, 2008

Paying attention to ... attention

Amid the frantic holiday season as the last groans of work are squeezed in before a new billing year --- I'd begun to reflect on the illusion of true multitasking. And just in time to support my theory that multitasking, like sanity, is a cozy lie - I came across Mike Elgan's recent post on work ethic and attention spans.

Elgan suggests that the workplace ideal of workaholism must be replaced by task-centricity during modern times in which we can all easily fake work diligence in front of a Internet-enabled computer screen. Therefore rather than glorify the worker that puts in late hours, prepare to glorify the worker that knows the place of work, home and Web-surfing.

I completely agree that I spend much too much time splitting my brain and my computer screen to attend simultaneously to a myriad of tasks across my personal and professional life. Although, I must admit that it would be hard to dismiss the instant martyrdom that comes with staying late and coming in early. In trying to imagine the champion of the new age, I picture someone difficult to praise (they are deaf to accolades while attentive to tasks) and even harder to pity as the newly attuned focus would provide actual quality leisure time.

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