As the hilarious guy on YouTube went on about 3 toed sloths, liking pictures on Instagram, and composing emails, I realized that I also often find myself in a deep search for the end of the internet–possessively glued to my Mac screen hoping for that final click that will eventually lead my brain to say ‘OK, that was stupid. I am going to bed now’ about 45 minutes past my bedtime. What caught my attention was the following quote: ‘Heavy media multi-taskers are more susceptible to interference from irrelevant environmental stimuli’. Just the other day, it took me 2 hours to reply to an email because 1) coffee, 2) I forgot to print off my reports for parent-teacher conferences, 3) I hadn’t checked Instagram since last night, 4) memes 5) new Kings of Leon album came out. It really is true, especially at work, that I never take the time to focus on just one thing because to-do lists, distractions, social media, and people get in the way. Just like the video stated, ‘this is life mimicking the Internet’—I just never paid attention that this was going on.
‘Employees are sometimes so overwhelmed with catching up on email, they neglect other critical job duties.’ I am not sure about anyone else, but I thought this quote from ‘The Impact of Email in the Workplace’ resonates with me. I always check my emails in the morning, delete half of them because they are student releases, then try to reply to as many as I can before class begins. I will go two periods of teaching until I reach my prep and again, my mailbox is flooded with another set of new emails. Not only do they build up and add to the to-do list but sometimes they are conversations that could have
easily been had in person. I recently removed my work email from my phone because I was
constantly checking and replying to emails during my time at home which was not helping me manage my personal and work life divide. Although I would love to be prompt with my responses, I know that setting that morning, lunch, and after school time to respond to emails has helped me stay on task with teaching, marking and planning.
Is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions? Like Benita, I find it difficult to pinpoint this answer. Of course, the Internet can be productivity tool if it is used properly. With the idea of Tabless Thursday, I feel like people would get the job done without trying to finish three other things at the same time. I also agree that it is an endless series of distractions as I currently have a total of 11 tabs open ranging from homework, YouTube, blogs, recipes, and guitar chords. In Marc Spooner’s Creativity class, we talked about how everyone processes information and comes up with creative ideas differently. One of the ideas we spoke about what the idea of incubation. When working on a project of some sort, you will leave the task at hand and move on to other work, letting your creative ideas sit and incubate. At any given time, your ideas will resurface allowing you to move forward and put your new thoughts in action. I feel as though I can relate to this idea and this is the reason I have many tabs open at a time—rather than sitting there stumped, I will move on to something new, come up with new ideas even if they were derived from distractions, then return to my work when I am ready.
I really liked that Heidi spoke about balance in her blog post. I agree with her, that it is all about balancing out when and how much time we are spending on certain tasks and activities. Although I would love to continue for hours on end watching FailArmy on YouTube, I know that I would never get anything done. However, if I need a 10 minute break from my work to get new ideas and increase productivity so I can work longer then I will balance that out.
Speaking of balance, I gave my thoughts now it is time for some coffee and an episode on Netflix—yes, just one.