I want to underline a comment to a previous post from Mark Horstman: he is a brilliant guy and I do agree on almost everything he writes.

Continuous Partial Attention doesn’t work.  Nor does anyone who says they are multi-tasking actually multi-task with any efficiency or effectiveness.
At least, from a standpoint of what works BEST.  CPA is the tech equivalent of what HBR recently called Executive Attention Deficit.
If you’re allowing yourself to be pulled in 10 different directions, you’re not focusing.  The whole POINT of focusing is to eliminate all other inputs.  If you’re “focusing on A while scanning B and C”, then you’re NOT focusing on A.
You don’t need to scan all that stuff.  When you go on vacation, the world doesn’t collapse.  If you check your mail on vacation, your family notices.
Being connected CAN be a good thing, but it is not an excuse for lack of focus.

And again he is right and my idea of Continuous Partial Attention is a bit different:

  • I don’t like to be ALWAYS connected: at home, on holidays, …. I have ‘filters’ on what can reach me
  • Also at work, there is a time in which you let info come and time in which you don’t
  • CPA IS there: just few years ago we needed to look for communication/info in a really active day, now info ia all around us. It just depends on how you handle it: you can ignore (!?!?), you can filter. No need to scan any longer. Without CPA I probably weren’t a listener of an useful podacast like Manager-Tools.

In my opinion, the CONTINUOUS part of CPA is where we need to work ok to keep focus.

I’d really love to have feedback from Linda on this topic.


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