Got Screen ADD? Here’s How to Fight It

October 25th, 2012

Do you suffer from computer-screen attention deficit disorder? Here are some warning signs: You have five Internet Explorer tabs open at once. You’re working on three Word documents at the same time, and you’re fiddling with two open spreadsheets, too.

In other words, you are juggling so many on-screen tasks at the same time, you’re struggling to complete any one of them.

This is what computer-screen ADD is all about. With tabbed browsing, it’s easy to open dozens of browser pages, Word documents, and apps at the same time. Problem is, this is also a great way to distract yourself from the most important jobs on your “to do” list.

Sapping Productivity

In other words, if you’re suffering from your computer-screen ADD, you run the very real risk of never getting anything done.

Fortunately, gadget-review website Gizmodo not only understands this problem, it offers computer users way to battle it. And if you follow the tips Gizmodo laid out in a recent story, you just might find yourself turning into a more productive worker.

Resist the Minimization Urge

First, Gizmodo advises you to never minimize windows. This might be challenging at first. By minimizing windows, you can tackle several projects at once. However, if you don’t minimize anything, you’ll be forced to react to issues immediately.

Instead of minimizing that business report and forgetting about it until tomorrow morning, you’ll have to proof it immediately. Instead of shrinking that email message about setting a meeting later in the week, you’ll have to take care of it now, actually setting up that meeting.

You see how Gizmodo’s “no-minimization” rule can force you to become a more productive person: It makes sure that you take care of problems and jobs immediately, not at some unspecified future time.

Email Filters

Gizmodo also recommends that you create filters for your email messages. This is pretty simple but powerful, too: You might set your filters so that only email messages from a certain number of important contacts are sent to your inbox. Email messages from all other senders are sent instead of secondary folders to be dealt with later. But those messages that make it to your inbox? Those are the important ones, the ones that you have to deal with now.

Again, this practice may seem odd at first. You might worry that you’ll miss important email messagtes. However, you might be surprised at how few of your email contacts regularly send you messages that you must tackle immediately.

These are two simple steps, and they may seem basic, but if you follow them, you’ll dramatically cut down on your computer-screen ADD.