Interruption Management
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Interruption Management

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Vanquish Distractions - Interruption Management

To break the grip that too many distractions and too much information has on you, I suggest the following:

* When you get home, practice sitting in your TV room for 30 minutes without the TV on.

* Skip reading the newspaper, anytime you feel like it.

* In general, be more thoughtful when deciding what to read. Just because there is an abundance of interesting articles to read, doesn't mean you have to read them.

We're all taking in more information than we can expect to absorb. You can only remember -- and act upon -- so much anyway; so be selective!

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Saturday, December 19, 2020

"Sleeping On It" - Interruption Management

'Sleeping on it' is best for complex decisions: February 16, 2006 New Scientist (Vol 311, p 1005)

Complex decisions are best left to your unconscious mind to work out, according to a new study, and over-thinking a problem could lead to expensive mistakes. The research suggests the conscious mind should be trusted only with simple decisions, such as selecting a brand of oven glove. Sleeping on a big decision, such as buying a car or house, is more likely to produce a result with which people remain happy than consciously weighing up the pros and cons of the problem.”

“Thinking hard about a complex decision that rests on multiple factors appears to bamboozle the conscious mind so that people only consider a subset of information, which they weight inappropriately, resulting in an unsatisfactory choice. In contrast, the unconscious mind appears able to ponder over all the information and produce a decision that most people remain satisfied with.”

Ap Dijksterhuis at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands says “We found that when the choice was for something simple, such as purchasing oven gloves or shampoo, people made better decisions – ones that they remained happy with – if they consciously deliberated over the information.”

“But once the decision was more complex such as for a house, too much thinking about it led people to make the wrong choice. Whereas, if their conscious mind was fully occupied on solving puzzles, their unconscious could freely consider all the information and they reached better decisions.”

Expectation Counts
The unconscious mind appears to need some instruction. “It was only when people were told before the puzzles that they would need to reach a decision that they were able to come up with the right one.” If they were told that none of what they had been shown was important before being given the puzzles, they failed to make satisfactory choices.

“At some point in our evolution, we started to make decisions consciously, and we’re not very good at it. We should learn to let our unconscious handle the complicated things,” Dijksterhuis says.

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Saturday, December 12, 2020

Using Brainpower in Complex Times - Interruption Management


"How to Think: Managing Brain Resources in an Age of Complexity" by Ed Boyden in Technology Review is a brilliant article, excerpted here:

"When I applied for my faculty job at the MIT Media Lab, I had to write a teaching statement. One of the things I proposed was to teach a class called "How to Think," which would focus on how to be creative, thoughtful, and powerful in a world where problems are extremely complex, targets are continuously moving, and our brains often seem like nodes of enormous networks that constantly reconfigure. In the process of thinking about this, I composed 10 rules...

1. Synthesize new ideas constantly. Never read passively. Annotate, model, think, and synthesize while you read...

2. Learn how to learn, rapidly... Be able to rapidly prototype ideas. Know how your brain works.

3. Work backward from your goal. Or else you might never get there...

4. Always have a long-term plan. Even if you change it every day...

5. Make contingency maps. Draw all the things you need to do on a big piece of paper, and find out which things depend on other things...

6. Collaborate.

7. Make your mistakes quickly... Document what led to the error so that you learn what to recognize, and then move on...

8. As you develop skills, write up best-practices protocols... Instinct-ualize conscious control.

9. Document everything obsessively. If you don't record it, it may never have an impact on the world..

10. Keep it simple... If you can spend two days thinking of ways to make it 10 times simpler, do it...

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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Strive for Understanding - Interruption Management

Lists of information management tips can leave me cold. The notion that merely following some set of guidelines without understanding the magnitude of the situation relegates any such list, however important, to the status of a temporary fix that will soon lose potency.

Understanding the "why" has an impact for those who are willing to make significant and lasting headway on the issue.

Virtually every career professional has read at least one time management book and many articles, and all have encountered time management tips in list form and virtually everyone remains continually pressed for time. So, is the solution to retrieve one's list and apply it more diligently? Or would a more sound approach be to understand the pervasive nature of time pressure in our society, to take a big picture look at one's life and career, and begin to creatively address situations? I would opt for the latter every time!

While we all like lists, in five to seven days, most people will not even be able to *find* whatever list you give them, however valuable they regarded it at one time. It is better to strive to attain understanding of the issue than it is to add yet another list to the one's personal "collection."

The best of both worlds might be to strive for understanding, then apply some guidelines from a list.

Those who insist on a list (really a magic wand), in a few weeks hence, will be right back doing exactly what they've been doing, whereas those who tried to gain understanding will have the potential to achieve professional and personal breakthroughs!

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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Check Backgrounds Now, Avoid Complications Later - Interruption Management

When you need specific information on a business or person, background checks can be done from $0 to $125 through:

* Credit bureaus

* County business records

* Marriage and divorce records

* Clipping services

* State and federal court records

* Bankruptcy court

* Municipal and county real estate deeds

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Distractions Imperil Decision-making - Interruption Management

Valerie Iancovich, writing for the Discovery Channel in Canada says “It's not shocking news that a bikini-clad woman will affect many men's judgment. But now, a recent study suggests that a man with high testosterone levels is more easily-influenced by a scantly-clad lady than guys with lower levels of the hormone.”

“Once the men with high testosterone were exposed to the photos of the women, they were more willing to settle for a poorer deal. As a matter of fact, just touching a bra prior to playing the game seemed to squander the resolve of the testosterone-heavy men.”

So, macho guys, be careful what type of information (photos, graphics) you’re exposed to. It might contort your decision-making capacity.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Habit that Works - Interruption Management

According to Michael Masterson, interviewed years back in Bottomline Secrets, one simple habit that leads to success, is to get up early! "Early to rise" he says is not an absolute mandate for success, but most successful people I know get to work before their colleagues."

"Getting to work early provides you with quiet time that can be profitably spent before the rest of the world starts working. Arriving early also sends a strong message to colleagues and bosses that you are on top of your game. Early birds are viewed as energetic, organized and ambitious. People who arrive late and leave late look as if they're not in control."

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Jeff Davidson - Expert at Managing Interruption Overload

contact author Jeff Davidson
Jeff Davidson: Bio

Managing Interruption Overload

Is the constant crushing burden of information and communication overload dragging you down, pulling you off course, and impeding your effectiveness? By the end of your workday, do you feel overworked, overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted? Would you like to be more focused, productive, and competitive, while remaining balanced and in control?

If you're continually facing too many interruptions and too many demands, you need Breathing Space.


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