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Image courtesy of Television Broadcast

I have WordPress, Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo mail, Elance and a couple more research sites for an article I am writing. I also have my word doc and Paint open for what I am writing and some illustration. I don’t have any IM on right now. I don’t believe I am above average in the number of windows that are up and running. Am I?

This is atypical for me. I usually shut down my emails when I work for a couple of hours at a time to ensure that I can focus on the task at hand. I do slide into days like this with multiple sites and topics up and running. I am starting to wonder whether it is possible to develop ADD or some version of it, if I continue in this manner. I read something, remark about it, go do some writing, come back to check whether someone has responded to the comment and then I go to check if there are others following a thread I like on LinkedIn. I feel like I have the attention span of a 3-year-old. The topics vary from a movie review to non-profit spam to plagiarism and travel. They do not overlap and I cannot claim to be sectioning off my brain into segments. In some instances it allows for flashes of inspiration and brilliant insights from putting together things that are in different places. But at other times, it means I am distracted and unfocused. And this is without any reference to the effort to talk on the phone while texting on my smartphone!

I am all for multi-tasking. I think it is great to exercise to NPR or cook to music. But this kind of processing of different ideas and topics – I worry that it reduces productivity. Being plugged into multiple things at the same time ironically leads to a feeling of being disconnected!

Back to the question then. How many windows are open for you at this moment? Are you at home, work or school?  Does this kind of multi-processing work for you? Do you slot time to do social media or can you comment on your friend’s lunch choice and prepare a Power Point at the same time?

Me – I am going to post this and log-out of all things for a little bit. Say, maybe an hour or so!