Ling- English Work and the workplace

Continuous partial attention: living on high alert… all the time

Continuous partial attention describes how many of us use our attention today. It is different from multi-tasking. The two are differentiated by the impulse that motivates them.

When we multi-task, we are motivated by a desire to be more productive and more efficient. We’re often doing things that are automatic, that require very little cognitive processing. (…)

To pay continuous partial attention is to pay partial attention — CONTINUOUSLY. It is motivated by a desire to be a LIVE node on the network. Another way of saying this is that we want to connect and be connected. We want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment. To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognized, and to matter.

We pay continuous partial attention in an effort NOT TO MISS ANYTHING. It is an always-on, anywhere, anytime, any place behavior that involves an artificial sense of constant crisis. We are always in high alert.

via Linda Stone.

EME Ling- English Manage yourself PBM

The myth of multitasking

One study (…) found that workers took an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from interruptions such as phone calls or answering e-mail and return to their original task.

Estimated cost to the U.S. economy from loss of productivity: $650 billion annually.

[W]e are really talking about attention: the art of paying attention, the ability to shift our attention, and, more broadly, to exercise judgment about what objects are worthy of our attention. People who have achieved great things often credit for their success a finely honed skill for paying attention. When asked about his particular genius, Isaac Newton responded that if he had made any discoveries, it was “owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.” (the New Atlantis)