Distracted Living – A Simple Life
Psychology Today published an interesting blog on distracted living.
Distracted living is where you miss out on much of your life because you generally aren’t paying attention, or your attention is so torn in many directions that your really do not focus on anything. Research has shown that our brains are not quite coping with the sheer volume of information that we are exposed to these days.
During delivering Time Management workshop, it is clear that the majority of the trainees feel they need to deal with their normal days information pressures and distractions by working harder and handling all pressures at the same time.
We are still so engrained with the notion that “multitasking” is an important skill. I always praise myself with this ability (which certainty comes in handy when I am trying to get a four course diner to the table on time). However by now, we all know that for most activities, it really does not work. It actually reduces our ability to focus, to concentrate and to get the activity done well.
Does a life with less distractions sounds interesting? Then these are my tips of the week:
- Before you go home for the day: ELIMINATE. You want to get organised for the next day. Remove clutter; cancel social obligations you really do not want, cancel meetings that do not add value. And if you still use post-its, chuck them in the bin now.
- Only do 1 THING AT A TIME, Very difficult to actually accomplish, but try. You will be more productive, less stressed and perhaps a lot happier too.
- Sit down and explore what is troubling your thoughts at the moment. Is it money concerns, your relationship, worries for your kids? Time block some time to figure out to resolve these straight away so it can stop occupying your mind or schedule it in (being AWARE of what you need to resolve will instantly make your life a little bit easier).
- TURN OFF notifications on your mobile phone and computer, these are instant focus snappers.
- WRITE THINGS DOWN. Use to do lists, make notes. Why waste precious energy trying to remember and recall things when you have a pen (or notes on your computer)? When it is written down it does not need to occupy your mind.
- CUT DOWN ON TV. It is a waste of time really and it is amazing to see how much more time you are left with getting your life sorted in a great way.
You need to KNOW YOURSELF to be able to focus. Understanding what breaks your devotion, understanding the emotions that come up, the distractions that trigger you is the basis for changing your habits.
Now I just need to get used to not turning up the music while writing these blogs…keep it simple and stay devoted, that will be my motto for today.