I sometimes feel I have the attention span of a gnat, that my "multitasking" is really masking an inability to concentrate on one thing long enough to finish it.
I see the same thing with other people, young and old, they complain that they find it hard to concentrate on one thing at a time. And it is all caused by the distractions and the attractions of the online world. Compelling content is just a click away.
We can watch streaming movies in high definition, find fascinating articles to read, view amazing photographs, while at the same time checking Facebook, then Twitter, email, sms, etc. And our social networks are discovering and sharing tons of compelling content. We have probably never ever in our human history have had to deal with having so much fascinating content available, and available instantaneously.
The problem with compelling content is that it's compelling -- it's very difficult to switch off from it.
These days everyone has find a way of managing their particular set of distractions and attractions. I try to switch off for at least several hours a day so that I can go out and interview people, have time to write, and time to think. For example, I will only check my email maybe just once a day. And when I'm focusing on tasks I won't pick up the phone, and I won't turn on the radio, or run my LaLa music playlists.
Twitter and Facebook are harder to ignore, and so is an sms message. But if I don't do this I have the attention span of a gnat and can't finish anything.
How do you deal with living in a world of compelling content?