The Pros and Cons of Having a Continuous Partial Attention Span

These days, there is a lot of talk about the web generation, or Google generation, and their lack of ability to focus on any one thing in particular for too long. In fact, I have read articles that say people who grew up this way have their brains wired differently than people who did not!

However, I’m not so sure this is such a new concept. In fact, I think I have a continuous partial attention span issue myself! I’ve heard arguments for and against this way of thinking and working, and so I would like to present you with my own set of pros and cons on this subject:

Pros:

  1. Managers and co-workers get an (almost) immediate response to their emails.
  2. There’s always lots of variety so you never feel bored!
  3. You can get multiple tasks done at the same time, so nothing has to “sit” or be put on hold.
  4. You don’t end up getting stuck on something. You can just put it down and go on to the next task.
  5. You get better and better at scanning through information and quickly identifying whether it’s relevant or not.

Cons:

  1. You are constantly interrupted when researching or working on a project-based task.
  2. The above is a “con” in of itself because of the annoyance factor, but the interruptions can result in a lack of total focus on any one task at any one time.
  3. It can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed.
  4. You might end up taking a longer time to do a larger amount of work, than if you just focused on one task at a time. (What do you think about this point in particular?).
  5. It may cause a tendency towards rushing through tasks and spending less time on them than you really should.

So there you have 5 pros and 5 cons from my own experience. Do you have anymore to add, or any thoughts on this subject to offer?

 

Find me on Twitter:  @jacbird and @masitblog

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