Do One Thing

This week for our eci833 class we were instructed to watch the following video.

The gentleman in the video describes how he was working on a paper, that resulted in him joining a ‘save the sloths’ cause. It resonated with me, as while I was watching/ listening to the video I was formatting this post and half listening to see if my children were still awake. So although, I wasn’t off in a web dive like he was, I was not fully focused on one thing.

While there are many valuable resources online for professional and personal use, I find there is a lot of junk to sort through. Even something as simple as online price shopping for computer mice recently became an annoying task, or perhaps I need to search smarter when searching for something specific. I know that more than once I have sat down for a five minute social media break, and wasted 20-25 minutes.

I did find the quote in the video regarding email interesting “When workers don’t check email, they focus for longer on tasks and show less physiologic signs of stress”. I feel that I am pretty good at reading and responding to email in a timely fashion. However, just the week at the end of a class period someone asked me if I had seen an email that they had sent at the beginning of that class period. I did see it, but was teaching and helping students. It was a general informative email that did not require a response. They were simply reiterating what the email said. Regardless, I was a little taken aback as it had been less than an hour since it was sent.  Although, they were coming from a helpful place, and just happened to be walking by my room I still felt that maybe I was a bit behind. It would be a nice experiment for me to close my email and only check it when I am not teaching and have time to actual read and respond to any emails right then and there. I wonder if I would be more focused and less stressed.  Gif via Giphy


More than anything the phrase “do one thing” reminds me how over-connected we can be sometimes. Even things as useful and practical as schedule syncing with my spouse can become stressful, as we are trying to manage everything from a bunch of different places, all at once. Plus, I rarely attempt to commit items to memory as it is all electronic. Personally, I have been trying to get small things off of my to-do list, at school and home. Basically, if it takes 5 minutes I try to do it now. It’s definitely a work in progress, as am I.

Here are my questions:

  • Are the schedule-sycner in your household?
  • Does searching incognito really matter, especially since google knows all? We recently booked flight tickets, and my husband insisted we only search this way.
  • How do you manage emails?

Thanks for reading!




4 thoughts on “Do One Thing”

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog, especially that you hilighted some aspects of email communication / distractions. I too believe I am fairly good with quick responses via email, though this has fallen untrue several times this year (mostly when I focus in on one task to the exclusion of all others – usually at a hard deadline).

    This quote resonates with me as well: “When workers don’t check email, they focus for longer on tasks and show less physiologic signs of stress”… but only because that little red dot on my email app causes me immense stress.


  2. I left a similar comment for Adam, but I’d love you to check out Linda Stone’s work as she refutes the concept of multitasking and defines this phenomenon more as “continuous partial attention” – ultimately, that we never really provide anything with our sustained attention, and this becomes a problem. See:

    Great post.
    Also, I’d love you to get a few more links to articles, other blog posts, etc. in your writing. Try to do your best to connect your work to the other thoughts in the class, to weekly readings, or to other things you’ve seen on the web related to the topic. You have a great narrative in your writing, but I’d love to see it further connected via hyperlinks!

    Keep up the great work.


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