Sunday, October 23, 2016
Reduce Distraction, Create Space - Interruption Management
When you break free of the clutter syndrome, which is endemic to 21st century man and woman, and you both physically and figuratively create open spaces in your life, you gain an enhanced perception of more time in your life.
* I advocate looking at your shelves and determining which books you can give away.
* Ask yourself who would appreciate receiving this as a gift.
* If you can't think of anyone, identify schools, libraries, hospitals, and retirement homes that might appreciate such gifts.
Labels: clutter, donations, focus, giving, organization, simplicity, space
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Take Control - 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!
Labels: distraction, extraneous information, reading, selectivity, television, tips
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Stave off Disruption via Apps - Interruption Management
Here are three Apps to help you start and stay focused on the task at hand:
you move forward when you're unsure of what to do next. The app quizzes
you, asking "what's important?” and how your decision will impact both
you and others. It then lays out a detailed action plan. Unstuck
is free on the iPad.
provides an easy method for managing your time. You compose a list of
what you seek to accomplish, rank the items, and allocate how much time
you choose to devote to each. Once you begin, 30/30
signals when it’s time to proceed to the next task. It is free on iOS.
is an app for devising the steps toward completing a goal. You enter the goal name and then the App prompts
you to draw tree-like branches that illustrate the steps and their
then enables you to add links and notes, as desired.
It’s free on the Android and iOS.
Labels: accomplish, achieve, action plan, attention, complete, disruption, focus, interruption, time management
Monday, October 03, 2016
More Concentration, Less Clutter - Interruption Management
Here's a useful article on CNN.com about "How to sell or get rid
of your old gadgets."
Labels: cell phone, donate, gadget, iPhone, mobile device, recycle, sell
Monday, September 26, 2016
20 Year Forecast: Data Smog - Interruption Management
In his 1997 book, Data Smog: Surviving The Information Glut
, David Shenk remarkably predicted our current state of social affairs:
"The law of diminishing returns, applied to the growing speed and abundance of information, will produce infoglut that will no longer add to our quality of life. Infoglut is already beginning to cultivate stress, confusion, and ignorance
," he said. "Information overload
threatens our ability to educate ourselves, leaves us more vulnerable as consumers, and less cohesive as a society, and diminishes control over most of our lives."
Here are Shenk's first 12 Laws of Data Smog
1. Information is now plentiful and taken for granted.
2. Silicon circuits evolve more quickly than human genes; a future information overload disease is called Nerve Attenuation Syndrome.
3. Computers are neither human nor humane.
4. Putting a computer in every classroom is like putting an electric power plant into every home; education cannot be fixed with a digital pipeline of data.
5. The sales goal of the information industry is information anxiety; by 1995, computer users considered their machines obsolete in just two years.
6. Too many experts spoil the clarity; the paralysis of analysis.
7. In a glutted environment, the most difficult task is finding a receptive audience.
8. As info supply increases, our common discourse and shared understanding decrease, and people turn to niche media and specialized knowledge.
9. The electronic town hall allows for speedy communication and bad decision-making; government is too responsive to an ill-informed citizenry.
10. Personal privacy has replaced censorship as the prime concern of civil liberties.
11. In our increasing distraction and speediness, the lies will move so much faster than the truth, they will too often become the truth.
12. On the info highway, most roads bypass journalists, reducing the power of the press
and enhancing the power of public relations.
Labels: information overload, productivity, quality of life, stress, technology
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Do One Thing at a Time - Interruption Management
What is the fastest, most efficient way you can handle all the things competing for your attention? Prioritize them, and then handle them one at a time. It sounds simple enough, but this goes against the grain of society, which "says" do many things at once to be more efficient.
You see this every day: someone jogging down the road listening to an iPod or somebody doing work or reading while eating lunch. People double up activities, as if somehow that is going to make things easier
, better, more rewarding, or longer lasting.
Consider some of the greatest people in history: George Washington, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. Were they in a hurry? Sure, they acted urgently because the things they did were important, but did they walk faster, talk faster, try to do any of the things we do today to be
"efficient?" No -- they had mastered the art of doing one thing at a time.
The daily information and media shower leaves each of us incapable of ingesting, synthesizing, or applying the data before tomorrow's shower. You've got to break out of the mindset that society has imposed upon you. Sometimes the best way to be productive is to sit at your desk doing nothing, at least nothing that looks like anything to people walking by.
Labels: focus, information overload, mastery, multi-tasking, one thing
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Way Too Many Distractions - Interruption Management
We are surrounded by far too many choices and distractions. For example, in supermarkets there are double the items now as compared to 25 years ago. In a few more years there will be even more items; how can we effectively handle such an onslaught?
No matter how many items the supermarket stocks, you can continue to buy what you have always bought and tune out much of the distraction. However, even that could get a little tedious since everyone likes to try new things.
I recommend exploring one new area – in the meats, fruits, cheeses, frozen foods, whatever – each trip to the supermarket. If you shop once a week, in the course of the year you will have tried at least 50 new products without expending mental effort or consternation in the process.
If you are up for adventure, load your entire supermarket shopping cart with all new products that you've yet to try. Either way, whether you choose to take on a selective number of new items per week or load up your whole shopping cart with new items, you are not investing time or mental effort on the onslaught of thousands of products competing for your attention.
Labels: attention, choice, choose, distract, effort, onslaught, shop