Possible cure for O.A.T.S. e-disease!

Okay, have to write a blog post…about what? Thinking…thinking…all right. It’s been about 30 seconds. I guess I’ll check my Google Reader and see what else is going through the Blogvine. Opening new tab…logging in to Gmail because I’m not yet in the habit of going to Google Reader independently. Oh look! New e-mails! There’s a Facebook event invitation…a spam message requesting $2,500 from a friend’s e-mail account that has obviously been hacked…and unsolicited information from the Libertarian Party of Texas(??). As long as I’m thinking about politics, I better read the latest Newser headlines (even though I checked nearly 15 minutes ago…and 15 minutes before that). A story about the Taliban…a German ‘Borat’…25 Car Tunes for the whole family…Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic strategy…

I won’t continue because I’m sure you’re familiar with Online Aggressive Tangent Syndrome (O.A.T.S.). One moment I’m motivated and excited to write a useful blog entry for our readers, and suddenly I’m staring at Hillary Clinton’s face. Not only am I at the wrong destination, but I’ve already forgotten the path I took to get there. Many social media marketers suffer from O.A.T.S. – our plates are full and we regularly tread the dangerous line between working intelligently and simply being “plugged in” to the Internet.

However, O.A.T.S. can be a pleasant surprise once in a while. This morning I was baffled by Seth Godin’s illustrative example of how I stink at math. I misunderstood the question (I guess I stink at English, too) and immediately wanted an answer, causing me to have an O.A.T.S. relapse. Seth posted links to user explanations regarding his mpg usage problem, and after clicking the Charlie link, I was well on my way towards Hillary Clinton’s face.

Thankfully, Charlie was smart. After providing his viewers with what we wanted (a solution and explanation to Seth Godin’s math problem), he provided us with what we needed

– a self-imposed online equivalent of parental channel controls on TV. I can’t wait to try out the beta. You can sign up for an e-mail reminder that lets you know when Monotask launches or you can follow @charliepark on Twitter. Are you aware of any similar, positively restrictive Internet/work management applications? If so, let us know.

It’s ironic – had I not been clicking through the Internet and away from my work, I never would have stumbled on this potential cure. But until the beta is available, we’ll all have to rely on our willpower to stay focused.

Disclaimer: This post in no way endorses Hillary Clinton, social media marketing or the Internet.

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