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Dividing attention: The downside to multi-tasking

February 29, 2012

Toronto, February 29, 2012 - We rarely give our undivided attention to anything anymore. As clever, capable, and productive people, we have trained ourselves to handle the various inputs such as emails, the web, TV, texts, people around us, etc. and use our brainpower to keep it all organized, and ready to recall in an instant -- we hope. Following us in this trend is the younger generation who Tweet and text while watching television.

The downside to multitasking is that it does not allow for two important activities: Processing the inputs completely, and developing strong relationships. Of course these do not happen, as we're splitting our attention between so many things at the same time. No one wants to develop a reputation for being disengaged, yet this is precisely where multitasking can take us.

Giving 100% attention at all times may be difficult and unrealistic to give. "Try to schedule uninterrupted time for specific things, or with specific people," says Randall Craig, social media expert and author of Online PR and Social Media, "Turn off the interruptions, and develop a reputation as a thinking person who is fully engaged with the task at hand." As the computer is a tough place to avoid disruptions, turn off the 'helpful' interruptions from email, instant messaging, etc. This will let you give that one task 100% complete, undivided attention. And when you do the same with people, like keeping your Smartphone in your briefcase, you'll find your relationships improve as well.

Adds Craig: "Striving for connection and community in the real world is instinctive, so it isn't surprising that the online social networks have grown like wildfire. But just because we can connect to others online, does not mean that we should be connected to them at all times. It's important to have space to think, and we need space for the 'real world' people in our lives as well."

Since 1994, Randall Craig has advised on web and social media strategy. He is the author of six books including the newly published Social Media for Business and the Online PR and Social Media series. You can visit Randall's blog at


For more information contact:

Randall Craig
416.256.7773 x101 /

Carolyn Bergshoeff
416.256.7773 x 103 /

For more information contact:
Randall Craig
Pinetree Advisors Inc.
Phone: 416-256-7773 x101

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Randall Craig, Social Media and Networking Expert


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