Blogs » Janey Lacks Blog » Pay Attention


During the past couple of weeks I have been in lots of meetings, out with friends and at several meals in restaurants. Sometime in the middle of almost every one of those occasions, someone looked down and went into the world of texting.

The person texting probably thought their mental departure from the moment had gone unnoticed. Had it been brought up (no!, tempted, but didn’t!!), I am sure I would have been quickly reassured by the “texter” that they were “listening, just multi-tasking.”

Much recent research indicates that people don’t actually multitask – they simply move their attention back and forth, paying attention at a level more like skimming. In Dr. Richard Hallowell’s engaging book Crazy Busy (can't underline in this program!), he describes multitasking as “a mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously.”

Next time you are in a setting where you are supposed to be paying attention, do that!

You may believe you can do many things while paying equal attention to all, but the truth is that you will do your best work when you are focusing all of your attention on the task you are trying to accomplish or enjoying the people with whom you are sharing time.