“It’s not the chatter of people around us that is the most powerful distractor, but rather the chatter of our own minds.” - Deepstash

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The worst workplace distractions aren't your phone, email, or social media

Daniel Goleman

“It’s not the chatter of people around us that is the most powerful distractor, but rather the chatter of our own minds.”

Daniel Goleman

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The worst workplace distractions aren't your phone, email, or social media

The worst workplace distractions aren't your phone, email, or social media

https://blog.rescuetime.com/the-fight-against-distraction/

blog.rescuetime.com

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Key Ideas

William James

William James

“Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.”

The 2 kinds of distractions

  • Sensory distractions (External): The things happening around us, like colleagues talking, phones ringing, people moving around us, music playing, etc.
  • Emotional distractions (Internal): The thoughts that make our attention drift from what we’re doing. For example, remembering a phone call you need to make or thinking about a future meeting.

Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman

“It’s not the chatter of people around us that is the most powerful distractor, but rather the chatter of our own minds.”

Main sources of internal distraction

  • Remote work or a lack of social interaction.
  • Multitasking.
  • Unpredictable work environments.

Emotional distractions are a symptom of our workplace culture

Lacking social interaction

Workplace isolation sends us to Twitter and Facebook. Or to check in on email and chat every 5-10 minutes to see if there’s a new message.

Solution: Creating a daily routine with time to connect with the people you work with and not just resorting to impersonal communication.

Multitasking

Living in a space of constant half-attention causes our brain to lose focus.

Solution: Adopt a work schedule designed around single-tasking. for that, learn to prioritize. Because distraction might actually be just confusion about what matters.

Unpredictable work environments

Our work environment rarely lends itself to focus. So get more comfortable with distractions.

Our brains are brilliant at noticing anything that doesn’t match a pattern. We’re drawn to novelty, which makes a distraction—like a loud coworker or hearing a one-sided conversation—in an otherwise monotonous workday very hard to ignore.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

William James
“My experience is what I agree to attend to.”
William James
Attention Management

It's is the practice of controlling distractions, being present in the moment, finding flow, and maximizing focus, so you can create a life of choice, around things that are important to you.

It is the ability to recognize when your attention is being stolen (or has the potential to be stolen) and to instead keep it focused on the activities you choose. 

Choosing What You Attend To

Attention management offers a deliberate approach that puts you back in control, by managing both external and internal factors.

Practicing attention management means fighting back against the distractions and creating opportunities throughout your day to support your priorities. 

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Our attention is fragile

Research indicates our mind wanders 50 percent of our waking hours. Internal and external distractions easily disrupt our attention from the task at hand.

To gain control over our attent...

What mindfulness is

It’s about paying attention to the present moment with awareness and without emotional reactivity.

Mindfulness training

It can be broken down into two major categories:

  • Focused attention exercises cultivate your brain’s ability to focus on one single object, like one’s breath or walking.
  • Open monitoring helps you learn to pay attention to what’s happening around you without becoming attached to it.  
Daily interruptions

On average, we experience an interruption every 8 minutes or about 7 or 8 per hour. In an 8t-hour day, that is about 60 interruptions. The average interruption takes about 5 minutes, so that...

Myth of multitasking

We’re not actually multitasking; rather, we are switching rapidly between different activities.

Better concentration makes life easier and less stressful and we will be more productive. Practice concentration by finding things to do that specifically engage you for a period of time to the exclusion of everything else.

The ‘five more’ rule

... for learning to concentrate better:

Whenever you feel like quitting – just do five more – five more minutes, five more exercises, five more pages – which will extend your focus. 

The rule pushes you just beyond the point of frustration and helps build mental concentration.

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Dealing with intrusive thoughts
While we can’t control the feelings and thoughts that pop into our heads, we can control what we do with them.

But we don't have to fight them, we just have to find better methods to handle t...

The internal trigger

Look for the discomfort that comes before the distraction.

Focus on the internal trigger that precedes the unwanted behavior, like feeling anxious, having a craving, feeling restless, or thinking you are incompetent.

Write down the trigger

Write down the trigger, the time of day, what you were doing, and how you felt when you noticed the internal trigger that led to the distracting behavior.

The better we are at noticing the behavior, the better we’ll be at managing it over time.

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Research on communication

Research found that only 7 percent of communication comes from the words you use; the rest of what you communicate comes from your voice and tone (38 percent) and your body language (55 percent).

Connecting with people
If you really want to communicate effectively, you need to connect and converse with the people around you—beyond words on a screen.
Embrace small talk

Small talk might not be that meaningful, but it does have a few benefits: it can make you happier and it can boost the brain’s executive functions responsible for everything from attention and focus to time management to organization.

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