Has a Mouse Taken Over Your Career?

Compulsive mouse-clicking is a powerful, mood-altering method for avoiding work.  Clicking around through business folders and business websites feels like work. The process may even resemble work. However, the process does not produce the results of starting and finishing one task at a time.

On some days, I can find myself unable to complete any task.

These are the days when I have used mouse clicks to create a digital maze.

I click open my mailbox. In my email, I find a message that contains a link. I click on the link. I find data that needs to be put in my database.

I click open my database. My database calendar gives me a pop-up list of priorities.

Flash: I feel guilty. I realize that I have done none of those things yet and those things are my priorities!

So I take the first priority: This priority may require that I research information for a project with a fast-approaching deadline. The information is on a membership site. I click on a link to the membership site to gather information When I get on that site, I see that I have direct messages and updates from other members and from groups.

I click open the messages in separate windows so I do not lose track of which ones I have completed.

I begin to reply to the messages. Some of these messages are repetitive. I have form letters for those types of messages. So I click open the templates folder that contains form letters. But wait!  Some of those templates do not quite match what I need.  So I reword them a bit.

Other messages are in responses in groups. I click open those messages in a separate pages so that I do not lose track of my progress.  Better stated, I open these messages in separate pages so that I do not lose track of my progression of clicks.

As I review those messages, I realize that I need to access another location for the records of access information for yet more resources. So I click open another folder to search for the access information: passwords, website links, and other TOP SECRET information known only to identity thieves, web hackers and me.

At this point, I basically am working in four applications:

  • Documents
  • Database
  • Email client
  • Web browser

These fundamental applications are necessary for most workers to proceed through the work day. I have read that a person should not have more than two applications open at a time. Yet to get through my email alone, I need access to those four applications to complete most tasks.

So what went wrong?

For me the solution is to schedule five things to do each day and complete those five
things first.

Along the way in going through my mailbox and opening website and in taking phone calls, I am going to have new things come to my attention.

Those things must wait.  If any new thing is important enough that it demands my attention over my five priorities, I must stop and pick one of those five priorities and reschedule it for tomorrow.

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