I have 13 browser tabs open from last night’s research. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon, and I’ve gotten a cumulative 15 minutes of work — for either freelance (billable) or school (deliverable), or neither — done since 6:00 this morning. I’m kind of stressed. I’ve been busy with, among other things, playing with my 19-month-old daughter (okay, I know: rough job) while my wife is busy with a client. I know I should just relax and enjoy being with Finn as we take turns feeding bits of bruised apples to the chickens.
I keep getting lured, though, by the technology options within reach that might help me get, oooh, just a little bit of work stuff done. The laptop: “I can respond to my blog or a Moodle forum.” The iPod Touch: “I can Twitter for class. I can check my email.” “Sure,” I tell myself, “Finn looks like she’s going to self-entertain for at least … a half-minute.” I’m usually good at filling up even tiny chunks of time with ostensibly productive stuff via some gadget that’s within reach. Multi-tasking and multi-apping, it eases my stress. Well, probably not, now that I think of it. It usually just makes my eyes feel like they are going to bleed. And the variety of virtual discussions waiting for my response seemingly give me the power to be in several places at once, even if it’s only several virtual places.
It seems that every day, my environment demands more and more attention and work from me. It’s like a cloud over my head. But it’s a sunny day, and Finn does not seem to have any clouds overhead. So I go with her when she grabs me by the finger and leads me away for a walk outside. I leave my apps behind for a little while … and the cloud as well.