Can we be productive in a world full of constant updates? Will we adapt or will we burn out? Linda Stone and William Powers at AIF 2011
Our conversation is about productivity with a focus on output and quantity. What if we shifted our conversation to one about engagement, with a focus on outcomes and quality?
Our focus has been on technologies as prosthetics for the mind, and human-as-machine style productivity. This has led to burn-out, poor health, poor sleep, and what I call email apnea or screen apnea. We wonder where our attention has gone. Turns out, it’s right where we left it — with our ability to breathe fully. What if technology became a prosthetic for our beings?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been noticing that about a third of people walking, crossing streets, or standing on the sidewalk, are ON their cell phones. In most cases, they are not just talking; they are texting or emailing — attention fully focused on the little screen in front of them. Tsunami warning? They’d miss it.
Our relationships with our SmartPhones, and this wicked habit that many of us, of walking or driving while texting or talking, hold us in a state of perpetual inattentional blindness.
What I call continuous partial attention is referred to as complex multi-tasking in cognitive science. Most of us don’t walk around distinguishing between simple and complex multi-tasking when we talk about our day: “I multi-tasked all afternoon and I’m exhausted.” “Yes, I multi-task when I drive.” “A good chef has to multi-task.” Were those examplesContinue reading “Beyond Simple Multi-Tasking: Continuous Partial Attention”