Inside the Club: Fighting the War on Distraction
Are you spending too much time distracted? I recently read an article at Inc.com titled “Now Is the Time to Fall Out of Love With Your Smartphone.” The author spent time detaching from their smartphone in a multitude of ways. They had to wean themselves off the typical amount of time they used the phone and the apps they used the most.
It got me thinking about the stress levels in my life. I know I’ve been sitting at a restaurant with my family, phone on the table opened to my email app waiting on a certain one to come in. I keep swiping the screen to reload the screen.
*Just checked my phone while writing this.
When at work, how often are we distracted by the things around us, on our computers or notifications popping up out of the corner of our eyes from our phones?
*Sorry, just got a text.
In the modern era there are so many distractions. Even when I sit down to write this blog for you I’ll get an email or someone will ask me a question removing my thought process. How is this effecting my productivity?
Sometimes I believe I’m more productive with all this going on. I see it as keeping me on my toes working a million miles a minute on a bunch of different areas.
*Again, something in my explorer toolbar just moved. Be right back.
**False alarm, it was just the save function in my Google Docs.
***But a text just came in. Sorry.
This is the point where I realize that this multi-tasking isn’t good for me. I’ve come back from a text and had to figure out where I was, what was on my mind and reorganize my flow. Can I shut out most of the distractions? Sure, I’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years, but for the sake of this blog I’ve let everything come at me.
*Seriously, I just scanned my desktop to see if I was missing something.
When I get to multi-tasking like I am at the moment I can feel my blood pressure rise, my stress level increase and my mind become sharp. I like the last part, but the first two make me wonder if all this “noise” is killing us?
How can you truly unplug? Is it possible to shut yourself off from distractions and just get back to the way things used to be? Would you even want to?
Yesterday my phone lost signal for 15 minutes. I was disconnected from a phone call with my mom discussing my grandfather. I was in my car, looking around and at a loss of what to do. I flipped on the radio, searched three different channels, turned my phone off, turned it back on, kept checking the phone. It didn’t stop until signal returned and my phone rang.
Is this just me dealing with these distractions? I believe not. At our office, technology and non-work related devices are around us at all times. Is that unprofessional? Maybe in 1950, but not in today’s world. We spend eight hours at a desk reading, writing and thinking. Having the ability to check out every few minutes is a good thing, but is it destroying productivity as a whole? The bigger question should be, will we ever know?
*Checking my phone one last time.
I don’t have a solution for you. I know we are a solution-based publication, but there is no solution here. If there were, you’d probably find this article on the cover of Time Magazine. In truth, there probably isn’t a cure for our issues. We will just need to discover ways to manage the connection to our devices. Will it hurt us in the long run? Who knows, I guess we’ll find out in the future. Until then, what are your thoughts? How are you disconnecting? What are your tips for managing distraction and focusing on success?
Tyler Montgomery is the Editor-in-Chief of Club Solutions Magazine. For thoughts on his blog, the print issue or the industry, reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.