Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Too Many Decisions? - Interruption Management
"Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?" in the New York Times
is well worth reading.
"Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry
at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the
supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new
car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t
make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s
different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware
of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you
make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and
eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very
Labels: decision-making, energy, fatigue, mental, sharpness
Thursday, October 09, 2014
The Disruption of Over-Information - Interruption Management
Information can only become knowledge when it's applied. Before you can absorb and apply yesterday's intake, however, the explosion of new information floods your receptive capacity.
Such constant exposure to the daily information and media shower leaves each of us incapable of ingesting, synthesizing, or applying the data before tomorrow's shower.
The eruption of information renders us over-stimulated. The more information you try to ingest, the faster the "clock races," and your sense of breathing space is strained.
As yet, few people are wise information consumers. Curiously, there is only one party who controls the volume, rate, and frequency of information that you're exposed to. That person is you. The notion of "keeping up" is illusory, self-defeating, frustrating and harmful. The sooner you give it up the better you'll feel
Labels: breathing space, consumer, disruption, information management, over-stimulation, personal space
Friday, October 03, 2014
A Nation of Druggies - Interruption Management
As a society, our default response to interruptions and distractions apparently is ingesting psychopharmaceuticals. Patrick Di Justo, writing in Wired
magazine observed, "Antidepressants are the most commonly popped pills in the country, accounting for 227 million prescriptions filled last year alone. Of course, Prozac and its descendants aren’t the only popular psychiatric meds: Remedies for seizure disorders — often used to treat bipolar disease, as well as epilepsy — and for anxiety are among the 10 most-prescribed drugs in the nation."
"But even as our hunger for pills has grown, basic innovation has slowed. Many “new” medications are actually reformulations of previously approved drugs, not novel molecules. As a result, some of the most widely taken treatments have been around for years."
Labels: antidepressants, anxiety, depression, drugs, medication, medicine, mental illness, pharmaceutical, psychiatry, psychotherapy, stress
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Rules that Impede Progress - Interruption Management
Once a rule gets in place it's very difficult to eliminate it even though the original reasons for its generation are long gone, according to author Roger von Oech
. His prime example:
In the 1870s the leading manufacturer of typewriters at the time received complaints that too many of the typewriter keys were sticking together if the operator went too fast. In response to this, the company produced the QWERTY type keyboard -- a configuration standard on all keyboards -- to slow down operators so that the keys wouldn't jam together.
Today, technology permits us to produce typewriter keyboards that can operate much faster than any human could possibly type but the QWERTY configuration still dominates and likely will for the foreseeable future.
The nugget for us all: introduce new rules, new regulations, and new procedures carefully, and monitor their long term effectiveness.
Labels: conformity, effectiveness, impede, regulation, rules, von Oech
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Distraction and Lost Opportunities - Interruption Management
"For all the hand-wringing about Generation M, technology
is not really the problem... It's not so much that the video is going to rot your brain, it's what you are not doing that's going to rot your life."
-- David Levy, Ph.D., University of Washington, Information School
Labels: accomplishment, achievement, American culture, distraction, leisure, productivity, success, technology
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Interrupted Sleep is no Fun - Interruption Management
Go to bed when you're tired, not when you think you ought to. Let your body talk to you. It'll tell you when it's tired. The problem you've had in the past is that you have ignored the messages.
Once a week, get to bed by 9:00 p.m. Your body will thank you. Let yourself sleep for nine, ten hours, whatever it takes. Allow yourself at least one weeknight in which getting sleep is your only objective.
If you're kept awake by your spouse's snoring, or you're the one snoring, you need help. Get a snore control device like those available from airline shopper magazines. A small device attaches to your wrist, and whenever you’re snoring above a certain decibel, a gentle vibration breaks the pattern and helps you return to quiet sleep.
Moderate exercise a couple hours before retiring aids in getting sound sleep. If you are too active too close to retiring, you may take longer to relax enough to doze off.
Moderate intake of proteins, such as a glass of milk, also helps you sleep soundly.
Labels: awake, bed, exercise, milk, sleep, slumber, snore, tired
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Shred Away - Interruption Management
I recommend using an office shredder when you have to discard papers that might contain otherwise sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, login data, or addresses of key clients that you would not want to fall into the hands of someone else.
One of the great benefits of shredding is that it's psychologically satisfying to see your papers completely stripped lengthwise, so that no one could possibly put them back together. You can also use the shredded paper as packing material for any objects that you're mailing. In that respect, you’re taking care of the environment as well by re-using the paper, and reasonably ensuring that your packages will arrive in excellent condition.
Labels: contents, environment, mail, protect, safeguard, shred