Every time I believe I have reached the absolute peak of busyness, that if I have one more thing to do I will simply collapse, I get busier. I remember when I thought I was incredibly busy 20 years ago. I had a job that required me to work a lot of extra hours maybe one week every other month. What was a long day then is just a normal day now.
I played softball in the summer, volleyball in the winter, and even tried the corporate bowling league one season. I had the highest handicap ever achieved by any participant–at our first match, my highest score (out of 300 possible) was 37. My handicap was largely responsible for my partner and I taking the league championship that year–I decided to retire from bowling after that.
I went on ski trips, played cards once a week, socialized regularly with friends. I guess I was busy, but I spent a larger percentage of each day doing things that were just for fun.
These days, the constant incoming stream of information, multiple mailboxes continually filling, Google beckoning whenever I don’t know the answer to a question, Facebook friends posting interesting articles and stories keeps all of us jumping from one subject to the next nearly continuously. Newsletters, informative articles, and don’t even get me started on YouTube. It’s not a tube; it’s a black hole–no one really knows if or where you come out if you dare to enter.
Almost every person I know describes themselves as having ADD. I’m not clear on the medical diagnosis of ADD, but I’m reasonably certain that it’s statistically improbable that every person I know (mostly adults) actually has ADD.
Yet, that doesn’t stop me from wondering about myself. I walked into the kitchen 3x the other day, forgetting what I needed as soon as my foot crossed the threshold. I never did figure out why I thought I need something from there. Is being so distracted all the time combined with the overwhelming amount of information streaming through our lives that makes us so scatterbrained?
And what about those moments when you sit down to do something that you really ought to spend time concentrating on only to have your brain start pinging you, wanting to know when the next interruption is coming? I have to believe that our brains are becoming more and more trained to look for any distraction to avoid concentration and deep thought.
And is that what ultimately leads us to jam pack our calendars for every minute of every day? Our secret desire to constantly hop to something new?
I don’t know. All I know is that if I don’t shutdown now, I will be writing in my sleep.