I find that I am easily distracted. Now maybe that is inherent in who I am, maybe it has come about because of my profession. I started computers back when green screens were all the rage and remember encountering punched cards, algorithms, computer science and mainframes at about the same time. Later I dealt with large-scale systems and then the micro revolution.
At the same time there is a lot of brain – speed thing in computing. Computers do *not* work as fast as your brain and as a programmer you get used to single tasking for a while then ‘timing out’ as the computer does something. During that time out frequently you will context switch to something else and believe me that all takes time! Saving the stack, handling interrupts, managing the polling –> and that’s just for the hardware side, not the wetware side. I find that PCs and distributed computing haven’t done anything to help at all – for instance I am using a wireless keyboard right now and the letter are appears with a perceptible delay as a I type. It is really irritating and makes me distracted!
I’m also typing this while waiting for a virtual image to boot, so I can continue editing a vital work document – there, I just context switched and entered my password (which wasn’t in focus on my multi-OS desktop) – back again. All of this training means that I find it real hard to focus on one job and take it though to completion. Is this me, or is it my job which has degraded my ability to focus?