Our Distracted Mind: bring some calm into your day.

distractionsI have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). And I coach others who feel chronically disorganized and overwhelmed.

It’s a misnomer that we have a deficit of attention … it’s like saying with 500 channels, an iPhone, an iPad, and 100 RSS feeds we have a deficit of information input. It’s also a myth that everyone with ADD is a hyperactive little boy whose eaten too much sugar. There is actually such a thing as having ADD without the hyperactivity. But that’s not my point today. 🙂

With Twitter, Email, Texting, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, and for that matter, LinkedIn, we’re constantly barraged with information and the expectation that we’ll be available right now and respond right this very second! But what does that do to your day? Much less your workday? Much less your nerves?

Did you know that the mind actually cannot multi-task? You’re actually micro focusing on one topic for a single moment, then another for that next nano-second (Blink by Malcomn Gladwell). Do you ever feel like you’re attempting to take a sip of water out of the fire hydrant torrent of information from the Super Information Highway?

What’s the hurry? Late for our next heart attack? Don’t get me wrong I love my laptop, smart phone, and as you can see I’m on all of the social media, including blogging, twitter, and audio blogging. But too much is too much.

“My favorite button on my cell phone is the off button” – Me.

What can we do about it? For one thing it’s mostly about setting limits with ourselves, and not giving into the belief that we have to be doing something every moment of the day. We’re human beings not human doings.

Practically this breaks down to some suggestions:

• Make rules to sort your email – with a glance you can know what kind of topics are filling which email boxes.
• Create a “love” email sub-folder, for the email that really matters from the people you love!
• Answer email in batches at set periods of the day – reacting to every email only puts you into reaction mode.
• Structure your day to include a ten minute walk outside. You know, the outside, that place you walk from from your car to your desk? Ten minutes of fresh air will make you more effective.
• Go on a media diet: how many news sources do you need? Dating sites?
• Make go to the farmers market each week.
• Do something radical: ask all your dinner guests to turn off all their devices and play scrabble.

I don’t know about you … but I’m slowing down and loving it 🙂 whatchathink?

Leave a Reply