By Dee Donavanik, Publicity Director
“To be fully present on the internet at any given moment is a very rare thing,” claims James Hamblin, an editor at The Atlantic in a recent video. He explains that by trying to do many things at once, we aren’t getting much done at all. At any given moment, we are likely to have a window open for email, another with an interesting article we want to read later, a calendar of upcoming events, perhaps a few for social media… the list goes on and on.
Most of us are guilty of this, present company included. In fact, I will admit at this very moment I currently have open: 2 browser windows, 10 individual tabs, and a variety of documents and folders. I will also admit that already, in the process of writing this post, I have switched over and responded to several emails.
In an effort to try and be efficient multi-taskers, are we actually just distracting ourselves from the task at hand?
Hamblin proposes a solution of sorts in the form of “Tabless Thursday.” He suggests that once a week, we attempt to “single-task” and focus on one thing at a time by not using any tabs. If we need to switch gears, we completely close out of one window and direct our entire attention to the task at hand.
He compares it to a break up: “You can talk again, but you can’t still be seeing that person cause you’ve moved on to a new thing. You can’t still be seeing that tab. That tab is behind you.”
While I can appreciate wanting to fully focus on one particular project at a given moment, it seems that going tabless is just not realistic for someone who operates in an industry such as ours. When it comes to publicity and media, timeliness matters. It is our job to be connected and and we must always be aware of what’s breaking in the news. Additionally, we are working on a plethora of projects and accounts simultaneously and at any given moment we may need to have immediate access to a producer’s contact information, a media schedule, a press release and who knows what else – and that’s just for one client. Going tabless just isn’t an option when it would end up making tasks much more time consuming and disorganized.
So though perhaps we can’t take the pledge for Tabless Thursday, we will have to search for other ways to limit distractions.
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