Halfway, somewhere.16 Feb 2009
Halfway, somewhere. The internet and it's effect on my attention spans & workload.
Overload, is what it comes down to. I'm writing this as I glance down at a book open in front of me: "An army of Davids", by Glenn Reynolds. Great book -- I'm partway through the third chapter and really loving it. Next to that book are two others (God's Secretaries: the making of the king James bible and God&Empire, if you were so curious to know) while splashed out on my computer screen are 27 different firefox tabs. In the midst a few of them I'm partway through some writings, readings and viewings. In particular I'm halfway through two videos I'm watching while reading a couple of betanews & mental floss articles, auditing my phone bill and my recent paypal transactions.
So, here I am. Writing something different for a change - I contemplated completing any of the above and just decided to say forget it. I wouldn't complete any specific task without moving on to the next without feeling as if I hadn't gotten anywhere. And the truth is, I didn't. See the truth is for the past year or so I've been dealing with what I call 'internet overload', an extremely (un)rare form of attention deficit disorder. I can't stay on task and haven't been able to since business began picking up - my full-time job (Fused Network, which I do love dearly) scaled from sixty to a hundred to twelve hundred clients in a short period of time. Since then, the barrage of emails, phone calls and tasks have left me inundated. The daily deluge, I like to call it - is actually relatively easy to escape. Often I simply 'turn off' and disappear for a few hours to the confines of a coffee shop, book or ice skating.
I have learned to cope with it in my own interesting ways. This past fall I took a train ride from Toronto to Vancouver, escaping my reality for a total of three days (And taking in mesmerizing sights) while my awesome-worker-bees took the brunt of most phone calls and emails. Just a few weeks ago I drove from Toronto to California and back. Three weeks in total.
And I'm here again, cleaving to my workload like some high strung sailor in the middle of a hurricane. The ship isn't going down by any definition but learning to cope is a task. I've dug around the internet and tried to remedy the situation by reading (half, I never could complete any) of a million articles on defining tasks & completing them, organizing and structuring life and about halfway through every article I'd take three phone calls, make lunch, do laundry & acquire a company. And then I'd forget about the article only to return to it sometime next week disinterested or far too busy for it.
My task list does dwindle though - during the past week I've completed roughly 4 items on my list of 30, got 2/3rds of the way through about five books (Two on PHP & BASH programming and the three aforementioned ones). I cope.
Coping I often find 'escaping' simply the easiest way to cope. While I'm away out of the office I do often at the very least structure my thoughts, compile more thorough & feasible todo lists and make arrangements. It isn't as though I'm that much of a mess when it comes to things to do -- there's simply far too many of them and far too little of me.
I've had a call out for additional positions that we're attempting to fill at Fused Network, in particular the 'personal assistant' one but to this day out of 197+ resume applications I have only had time to audit two of them. Laundry, dishes, and over 110+ support tickets a day, of course, took precedent.
I'm busy planning my next attempt at an escape, admittedly though I don't get far. I always have my 3g card and blackberry attached at my hip: readily available in the instant that I'm required to be available. This next one will either be to the Philippines (Blackberry rentals aren't cheap there), Vancouver or maybe another stint in California. I'd like to go some place 'seemingly' less busy on the outside versus another few days in Chicago where things feel rushed.
I have no doubt that somewhere out there I can find a pill to suddenly generate copious amounts of attention to provide to a single topic or task; But I (for some odd reason) prefer my quickpaced life - I wouldn't trade it for the world. I wouldn't mind a nicer view or some sunshine at the moment but having 4,000 tasks keeps me busy, something I've always loved.
I need somewhere slow, where I can work fast.