Tuesday, November 3, 2009
THE DISTRACTED - 29/365
"I can think a lot better if I'm listening to something else while you're talking. These headphones are perfect because they totally drown out all of the other noise including the sound of your voice.
Oh, don't worry...I can understand you. I'm reading your lips and looking at your body language so I totally get what you're saying. What? Uh, wait...wait just a second...
.....no, don't put it over there it doesn't go there, it goes over here......
Okay...now what were you saying?
Wait....where are you going? I'm listening...really I am...I don't know why you're running off like that!"
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the number of communication devices I'm plugged into. Between my mobile, computer, phone, email, text messages, Facebook, Linkdin, and now this Google blog...I feel like I can't keep up. I could sit in front of my computer for an entire day and still not FINISH what I'm trying to accomplish. No wonder so many people are diagnosed with ADD. How did this happen?
When my brother calls from New York, he will often ask why I have to "multi-task" while I'm talking to him. He says he can hear me washing the dishes or typing on the computer or making dinner. I brush him off and tell him that if I'm going to accomplish everything I need to do I have to do more than one thing at a time. But, do I? Wouldn't it be nice if I just took the time to sit down and talk to him without doing anything else? And who says I'll get it all done anyway?
It reminds me of when my father was alive and every day when I called to check in he would always asked the same question, "Suzi, did you get everything done today?" I always said "no" and went into all of the things that I still had to do. One day, when he asked I thought for a minute instead of answering right away, I said, "No Daddy, and I probably never will." It dawned on me in that moment that in his own quiet way, he was trying to get me to see that point all along.
I've often thought of that conversation and I suppose that if I'm not going to ever get it all done anyway then multi-tasking is really just a big distractor. Yes, it's true that the task might get done but at the expense of some pretty important connections - the people I care about most.
How do you connect?