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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Time Management

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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.
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.

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RELATED IDEAS

William James
experience is what I agree to attend

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IDEAS

Kyle Cease
Distractions are by-products of a problem. Something outside of you is pulling you away from yourself or a goal.
We Are Wasting Attention

Attention is the most fundamental human resource to our lives, relationships, and quality of work, yet none of us are connecting like we once did.

The intense focus that we once had seems to have gone, and with it, the satisfaction that comes from deep thinking. We need to get back on track by learning how to redirect our attention.

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