“We live in an ADD society.”
If my experience and the experiences of my clients, teams and the journalists with whom we work is any indication, this statement is verifiable fact. People rarely take the time to read an email in its entirety or a full article these days – we look to executive summaries and bulleted lists to tell us what we need to know. Multitasking is part of our vernacular, part of many job descriptions and a key feature of most smartphones. But we all know there’s a line: sometimes it’s OK to do two or more things at once, other times it is definitely not.
So, as you consider New Year’s resolutions, think about this. Instead of multitasking more – let’s learn to be more efficient, more productive. Hold extreme meetings or cut them altogether by using online collaboration tools such as Campfire’s group chat tool. Try more frequent – but much shorter – brainstorming sessions as one of my coworkers suggests (note her wise suggestion to limit the time to <30 minutes). But as we welcome the change a new year always brings, let’s agree to focus more and multitask less.
I have one more (unrelated) thought to share (further proof of our ADD society?). I had considered writing about ClimateGate or Tiger Woods and the importance of having a solid crisis communications plan. I won’t say much more on this, except to remind you of what you already know:
- make sure you have a crisis plan in place;
- make sure that your teams know what to do when the time comes; and
- preparation is key.