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5 terms we never wanted to know

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in Admins,Office Management

Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., had to invent new terminology to better understand the new demands that our digital culture has created on our lives. See if you recognize these goblins that are hounding us in ways we never would have thought possible 25 years ago:

Screensucking: Wasting time engaging with any screen. Held by a mysterious force, a person can sit long after work has been done or the show he wanted to watch is over, not especially enjoying what he’s doing but unable to disconnect. To combat it, you need to be aware that you’re susceptible to it every time you log on or switch on.

Doomdart: An obligation you’ve forgotten about that suddenly pops into your consciousness like a poisoned dart. Tell yourself when and how you’re going to take care of it, and your internal monitor needs to OK the plan.

Gigaguilt: Computer technology have so extended the number of items a person has to keep track of that the likelihood of something getting missed has skyrocketed. This brings with it ceaseless guilt over possibly disappointing someone or blowing a task.

Taildogging: Going faster or pushing harder simply because other people are doing so. How many people do you know are signing up for extracurricular activities when they claim they have no time, or who are buying things they don’t need because everyone else seems to own that thing?

The Spray Effect: There’s so much we have to do every day, and so much you could do, that your attention can head off in many directions at once. Focus your attention in one direction at a time with full force.

— Adapted from CrazyBusy (Ballantine).

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