I was sitting in a meeting with my business partner this week and we were pondering the good old days when we were both able to spend concentrated periods of time focussed on a single task.
I had an attention span once – I used to be a coder, I got a great deal of satisfaction from spending 12 hours a day glued to my tiny (monochrome) monitor and going to bed knowing I had at least produced something that had some visible impact.
Now here’s my problem. I’m definitely not a coder now and I have a pathetic attention span – I do however have a ‘techie’ brain and so my obvious question to myself ( techies talk to themselves – have you noticed?) was – did it all change in a single day or did it happen over a period of time? I just can’t remember, I know that 30 years ago I set up my IT company and I was employee#0 so I had to be the coder – and as we hired more staff my day to day responsibilities pulled me away to the point where now I can usually get away with nodding and smiling when one of my guys shows me a bit of code.
They’ve long since stopped asking me for my advice and I spend my days moving in small chunks of up to 5 minutes at a time, dealing with ‘ stuff’ – so my working theory is that it happened over a period, although I love the idea that I came in one morning at 9am with an attention span and at 12:00 I turned into a goldfish.
I’m not sure I have a solution – and I’m not even sure if I really want to go back to the days of only having one thing to do all day 🙂 I do know that all those little 5 minute chunks add up to a job that I love and I’m very fortunate to have an employer who offers equal opportunities to goldfish.