The Age Of Distraction And How Do You Focus?

April 5, 2012 by

Some call it the Age of Information, but in another view it can be called the Age of Distraction.

Age of Information

Age of Information

While humanity has never been free of our distractions - from swatting those bothersome gnats around the fireplace to dealing with piles of paper mail and ringing telephones -- never have the distractions been so loud and so overwhelming, and persistent as they are now. We enjoy an array of browser tabs open, email notifications, Twitter and Facebook messages, and mobile devices that are always on. Did you know that multitasking is not something that benefits us? We are just skimming the surface. Really, doing two, three and more things at once? Why? You can't do that many things at once and be effective at any of them. I find that I have to rein myself in all the time from the distractions that jump up from moment to moment! Focus, refocus - and again. It takes will power!

The news and pictures online are so compelling - the weather reports too. Facebook friends want to chat, the mobile phone is ringing and so is the landline. We want to do some reading - online, on kindle or however you do your reading these days. The television is on and someone has the remote in their hands flipping through all 9 zillion channels at lightning speed. Cook dinner, help the kids, the car needs service, the dog needs stuff too! No wonder so many have ADD type challenges.

It is time that we stop and look at this. Just stop - 5 minutes is all I'm asking you for. Stop the spinning. Start your day over no matter what time it is.

There is a certain type of satisfaction to checking off emails, surfing, checking in our social networks. We are

What Attracts Your Attention?

What Attracts Your Attention?

connected but we are also distracted. Often we are not connected to who we are with physically but connected to our devices and those on the other end of those devices. Email and social networking is very satisfying because it feels good to get a message. This is constant positive feedback so you are constantly rewarded from it. But don't you find that all this digital connection becomes overwhelming and difficult to keep up with? My email alone could be a full time job. Anybody hiring?

However....this has become a part of our lives! This is life as we know it now. Remember when computers were so expensive and so large that only the multimillion dollar corporations had them? When a laptop cost $5,000 and up? Now we have computers in our pockets. It is wonderful, all came upon us so fast that we didn't have strategies and systems for dealing with it. We are on overwhelm.

What if you decided you wanted to disconnect from it all? You could certainly do it but you'd be going against a culture that expects your participation. I'm not so sure you could even function as a part of the workforce anymore. There are some fringe type jobs that you could do, but generally, no. Every week I take some time to work on eliminating the unnecessary things that are easy to get distracted by - I have to say - it is a challenge. There is so much information out there -- so much to learn and know.

So you make choices, and one of those choices is - how much time will you devote to your digital devices and how much time will you devote to the humans in your life?

Digitally yours,


P.S. Try this little exercise - notice the next time you are reading a book how many times were you distracted and tempted to switch to something else? How many times did your thoughts wander? Leave a comment below and tell me what you discovered.



1 Comment

  1. [...] It is time that we stop and look at this. Just stop – 5 minutes is all I’m asking you for. Stop the spinning. Start your day over no matter what time it is. Read the rest of the article here [...]

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