To keep my sanity while writing a federal grant, I finally broke down and purchased a second monitor. I had been avoiding it because I think the diversions outweigh the benefits, but the need to merge multiple documents finally tipped the balance.

Two monitors now allow for a dozen or so tabs to be open at once. Couple that with our phones that have folders and several screen pages of apps — so many that it required a new “shortcuts” function so we can find them. We also listen to music or podcasts while allegedly working on other projects.

I wonder how much we can really manage simultaneously.

Maybe you feel you need the monitors and earphones and you find your phone apps to be functional, but try to carve out at least one place that allows you to focus. Read a book with the television off. Sit outside and watch the world go by without a phone in your hand. Enforce a no-tech zone at meals. Utilize the “focus” function in Word that blocks out everything else on your screen.

There are so many things in our external environment that bombard us with information and stimuli, do we really have to add to it ourselves?


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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