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Constant Partial Attention

April 12, 2011 | Captain Hannah He

I have recently been doing my transition into a new position, that of Executive Officer for a Joint Area Signal Company, or heavy signal, within the same Expeditionary Signal Battalion. As I've been learning from the outgoing XO, as well as preparing for our incoming new commander, one thing that I keep hearing is that I need to be flexible and ready to react to any sort of situation at any time, no matter what I planned on working or completing. I have since begun to recognize this as a constant partial attention syndrome, which plagues everyone in the headquarters element of the company.

In the office, we constantly check our email inboxes, both local and AKO, for updates on current projects or new taskings or FRAGOs. We usually have music playing from someone's phone. Someone is always walking in or out, opening this locker or getting something off of that printer. I understand that some people can work in this sort of environment, and obviously we all have to, but is this really the sort of environment we should be encouraging? I once wrote down a quote from Benajamin Franklin, something to the effect of, "My morning are for thinking, my afternoons for doing, and my evenings for reading." I wholeheartedly agree, and would like to structure my day in a similar way.

So, as I transition into my new job, I plan on challenging the NCOs in my office to "quiet time" each morning, where no one plays music or talks/texts on their phones from 0900-1100. I'd also like to cut down on my own constant checking of email, so I can focus on one task and complete that before moving on to what's next on my list. If we can all gather our thoughts in the morning and complete our tasks in the afternoon, I have a feeling the entire company will be more productive and efficient, and as a result, the entire battalion could benefit.


1 Comment

  • mattymays
    12/22/2011 2:57 AM
    hi armystrongstories.com-ers all the best to you all - matt-mays

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