I have gotten into the habit of opening up a certain amount of blogs every morning. I then set down to the task of reading the ones that I decide are worth my time and have kept my interest. Most of them I will read start to finish. Some simply lose me along the way and I ditch them. The ones I find most interesting or well written I will post in various places on Facebook.
Reading 10 to 12 blogs that are laced with lots of content takes time. Time I have, but don't have. Because every second I spend reading one of these blogs I am not writing myself. I am aware of this while I do it. It is a fine line. The blogs stimulate my mind and creativity, so I need that to kickstart me. On the other hand, they take time away from writing and being creative. I try to manage the balance so that works for me more than it works against me.
One thing that I certainly have noticed in this process is my need to speed read and finish them as fast as I can. That seems like a good thing, but on many levels it is not. I will explain why.
One of the big buzz catch phrases of our generation--since the advent of the internet especially--is multitasking. I have taken to try and do this. And it works well with lots of things, but not reading. Jumping back and forth between reading and other tasks simply makes it harder to finish reading. You lose the flow.
I seem to have trained myself to do this, but now, since I find it is not working for me, I have to make a conscious effort to deprogram myself and stop doing it. That is something I am working on.
The need to single task is every bit as important as the ability to multitask. It is not something we teach kids these days and we see the results of that when we speak to them and realize they have a lot of trouble focusing. They have one eye on the blackberry at all times while they are talking to you. They just can't wait to return that text message or check their twitter accounts.
Part of the problem is and has become holding your brain at attention so you can continue to process the thoughts you are taking in without stopping. I used to be very good at that, but have slacked off that skill as I learned to multitask. It is apparently a skill and one that must be practiced and utilized to be maintained.
Being aware of all these things, my new goal is to start reading a piece of work and finish it before I do anything else or look elsewhere. It isn't easy once you have crossed over to the other side, but it can be done. And I will do it. If I can learn to multitask, I can learn to single task. It is all about motivation and education. I want to do it and I will figure out how to make it happen.
My opinion is, that unless your job requires it, you should as well. You get more out of something when you concentrate on it. It isn't easy, but it is more productive.