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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are You Addicted To Distraction? By Janet Callaway

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Do you suffer from bright shiny object syndrome?  No surprise, all of us do to some extent.  In fact, it takes effort not to be distracted; to stay focused on what's important.  Let's take a minute to look at what's happening all around us.  Quite honestly, I think it is harder to maintain focus today than it was 100 years ago.   Here's why.

The first thing that greets you when you go into your office is your computer.   You turn it on and e-mails flood into your inbox.  You start answering e-mails, clicking on the links in the e-mails and the next thing you know you are following an interesting yet non-productive path.  The phone rings, someone stops by your office, you attend multiple meetings, get back to your e-mails, check blogs, research and the list goes on and on.  No doubt about it, we are in information overload and using these distractions to avoid doing more challenging tasks.
Did you know that there are more than 2 Billion e-mails sent every day?  Oftentimes it probably feels like most of those e-mails found a way into your inbox.  Some 75 Million blog posts are published everyday.  While you definitely don't read all of them, your colleagues will be talking about certain industry relevant ones while your friends will be talking about the ones that matter to them so you better pay attention to at least some of them.

What's a person to do?   You need to take control of your time.  You decide what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.  Your e-mails don't know you are sitting in front of your computer nor do facebook and twitter.   Ignore them until you set the time to respond.  Then, use a timer to limit the amount of time you spend on social media and e-mails.

If you want to live a life of your design, you need to take control of your time and FOCUS on what's important in creating that life.  The sooner you develop that focus, the sooner you can play with all the bright shiny objects call to you.


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