for September 3, 2008
• Are you a multi-tasker or do you try to stay focused on one activity at a time? I definitely multitask. I check Plurk, my Yahoo mail, and Gmail pretty constantly when I am online. In addition, I read the blogs I subscribe to on Google Reader usually all at once, but I am easily distracted. I also am a fan of the hyperlink and will go and try out a suggested link when I come across one. For example, yesterday in a blog post someone mentioned Dumpr http://www.dumpr.net/ and I had to go check it out. Then, about 30 minutes later I got to the next blog post in my Google Reader. I do NOT tend to focus on one activity at a time.
• Do you use particular tools or techniques to keep yourself focused and on task? What are they? I try to use my email for business communication only when I need to focus on a topic like writing my lecture for my graduate class; so I check it before I get started and then say after I have done 20 pages of reading, I will go back and check email. I sometimes have to TURN OFF and SHUT DOWN the browser to avoid the temptation of "playing" and seeing what my Plurk buddies are up to. I also sometimes have to completely sign out of Google Talk to avoid interruptions. Other techniques I use are to play music while I do what I consider boring or tedious tasks on the computer so I am less tempted to surf the Internet. I also sometimes step away from the computer and get a pen and paper to make a priority list of what has to be done and by when.
• What kinds of challenges are you facing in managing all of your Web 2.0 tools and toys? Have you found that you're sacrificing other parts of your life for your Web 2.0 fun? Is this a good or a bad thing? My biggest challenge is remembering what all I have signed up for and what the heck I used as my user name and password. I do try to use my Gmail account to register for all Web 2.0 tools so I have all the introductory information in one account. As for other challenges, I am easily hooked by a new thing, gadget, or web site, so I have to be wary of what I choose to spend time doing. It is very easy for me to get lost in hyperlinks in a hurry. My life hasn't really changed much, I have always been a tech geek, but I have been watching less television since I got on PLURK and have been getting such great ideas for teaching and learning from my network. I still stop to watch my favorites, but I am less likely to simply veg out in front of a show I don't care about. I think watching less TV is probably a good thing, but my time online also keeps me from reading for pleasure sometimes, too. I have to make an effort to find a comfy place to read the latest mystery or spy novel I have picked up at the local library.
Inspired by Michelle Martin on The Bamboo Project