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Sat, 19 Jan 2013

Attention Span

Being retired has many positive aspects. I get up at 5:00 to go to the YMCA to swim instead of going to work. I dress casually every day, not just Friday. I save money I used to spend on commuting even though I have less money. You get the idea.

And, it's not like I don't have anything to do. Just the opposite. I have too many things to do. My friend, John Young, described retirement as "Every day's a Saturday." That's great. But, think about your typical Saturday. You try to catch up on all the little jobs that you couldn't do during the week because you were working. Sometimes there are big jobs, but mostly Saturday is filled with one thing after another.

There's the thing, you see.

One thing after another, none too big, usually. There goes your attention span.

Yesterday, I spent a stretch of three straight hours writing up an article on doing GIF animation. When I finished, just before dinner, it was great, just like writing up a set of activity directions for my students. I had done one thing, pretty much start to finish with a level of concentration I had been missing. Long sessions on one task were pretty common during my work years. It was common to look up after a concentrated day of work to realize I was alone in the building, except for the custodians. I hadn't noticed the time passing.

Now, I won't claim to actually miss the tiring schedule. No, that would be untrue. However, I think I do miss the focus on important tasks that made me feel productive. These days, I get stuff done. For the most part, though, the "jobs" are recreational (don't count walking the dogs, doing laundry, vacuuming around the house, repairing something, shoveling snow in winter). Hey wait a minute, I actually love shoveling show in the winter and walking the dogs. Crazy! Laundry and vacuuming, I can take or leave.

What's a deadline?
What does it matter the order I do things?
Off on a spontaneous search for more information after reading an email...I'll get back to reading the rest of it later.

All in all, my attention span is shot.

posted at: 16:15 | path: | permanent link to this entry