trapped in digital distractions

“We create our fate every day . . . most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.”
― Henry Miller

Android Dream series. Background design of human model, numbers and design elements on the subject of science, information and modern technology

Digital noise

Have you ever been asked to change something about you?   Have you tried to change a behavior you didn’t like much?  How much success did you have?

Digital distractions are consuming more and more of people’s time and reducing their ability to be highly productive.   Digital games can become addictive.  Phones are an always-on, always available ready to answers any call or text, personal leash.   Phones or text messages are expected to be answered in an instant no matter where you are.   It becomes a part of your life. The always-on nature of digital devices become distractions when they inhibit or reduce your ability to deal with the important things in life.

Digital devices invade nearly every aspect of life, the drive to work, the meeting, the lunch with friends, the vacation, the important conversation, and just about everything else. How much times does your digital device require from you?

What is the proper digital etiquette?   How long can an email sit in the inbox before it must be answered?  When do you have to answer or acknowledge a text message?

For some people answering a text or the phone must be done immediately, in the car, in the restaurant, with friends, in the bathroom or just about anywhere there is a digital signal.  Always-on means always available.

The addiction to digital devices and their siren call isn’t easy to break.  It requires a change in a behavior, a change of the rules, and a new way of responding to the demands of digital devices.    People who are being pressed to get more done find that digital leashes are pulling them further and further away from getting work done.   How about you?   Are your digital devices hindering your productivity?  How do you know?

What does it take to turn email off?

What does it take to turn the smart phone off?

What does it take to disconnect from Twitter and Facebook?

Can you do it?   What would happen if you did?

Digital devices are creating in many people symptoms of ADHD,  lack of focus, poor time management, procrastination and ineffective decision making all can be tied to digital distractions.

Steps to reducing the digital distractions.

1. Turn the phone off and wait at least 15 minutes before turning it on.  Keep extending the period when the phone is turned off.

2. Answer email 3 times a day and no more.  The continuous checking of email reduces effectiveness.

3. Create digital free zones (the dinner table, meetings with friends, etc.)

4. Keep digital devices out of the bedroom.

Start getting your life back and start getting more done.  When will you start?

Life style

“Relaxation is… a state between waking and sleeping, where the body is completely still and the mind is allowed to flow freely from one thought to another, or alternately, a state in which the mind becomes inadvertently calm.”
― Gudjon Bergmann

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Green River, Utah

When was the last time you took a sustained break from your daily routines? When did you take time to relax and step back from the normal pattern of life?

With employee engagement hovering around 37% companies are losing a majority of their productivity to time wasting events. People are stressed and stress doesn’t necessarily improve output. Vacations are being taken by fewer people as the feeling is that vacations only serve to increase the amount of stress in their lives rather than reducing stress.

What are you doing to restore engagement in work and life?

What is your level of stress? How are you dealing with it?

Stress reduction can begin with:
1. Breathing and relaxation
2. Practicing gratitude – journaling what you are grateful for.
3. Being mindful – paying attention to the day and not letting it just go by.
4. Disconnecting from TV, computer and electronic devices.
5. Taking a real vacation.

Stress is often related to a lifestyle that is demanding more from you than you can provide.  Sustained stress leads to burnout and less satisfaction with life.  Choose to change your lifestyle so that you can experience greater happiness.

a summer challenge

“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”
José Ortega y Gasset

Stress.  It is an issue.

Stress is a result of a conflict with your values.   When you live a life that is inconsistent with what you value your emotional triggers are stirred.  At some point some issues presses you just hard enough.  You’ve had enough.

What do you value?

What are your values?

How would you write your value statements?

Are you honoring your values?   If not, why not?

When you experience more of what you want out of life then you’re likely living in a way that is consistent with what you value.   If there is something you value highly and you’re unable to satisfy that value then life isn’t going to be as good as you’d like it to be.

What is your level of stress?

What are you doing about it?

Master Your Stress

distracted – disturbed – dismayed

“Ten thousand flowers in the spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.”
Wu Men

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More and more people are feeling that they have extended their physical and mental resources beyond what they can sustain and it is resulting in greater stress, burnout and distress.   The demands for using every minute of time in some endeavor has robbed people from taking a moment to just step back and relax and recover.

Electronic distractions are so common place that it has become fashionable to always be connected to some type of media and that is disconnecting people from reality.   The window to the soul is clouded by the window of the always-on lure of technology.

Burnout, stress and malaise is increasing and more and more people are looking for ways to restore their vitality as the increased pace and demand for more being done is impacting physical and mental health.

How do you break free of the pattern of life and work that is creating more distractions and resulting in a more disturbed way of living?

1. Pause and breathe
2. Exercise, talk a short walk every hour, move.
3. Meditate, even for 5 minutes, breathe in and exhale slowly.
4. Sleep, getting enough sleep so that you can think and work effectively.
5. Take time out to do nothing.  Just observe, watch and reflect on something of beauty.
6. Slow down.  Eat slowly, drink slowly and experience eating.

Observe what your life is like.  Is it getting filled with more and more stuff?  Are you feeling strained to meet all the requirements of work and life?   Are you spending more time just watching TV and numbing the brain?

Turn off the electronic devices.  Create an electronic device free zone and time and start getting your life back.

Find a way to get more harmony and peace into your life so that you have a life.

one more thing

“Just for today, smile a little more. Just for today, ask someone how he or she is really doing. Just for today, remember, while some may have it better than you do, there are others whom definitely have it worse than you! Just for today, just let go, just for today….”
― James A. Murphy

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MORE

That is the call of the world.  More of you.  More time at work.  More time for everything but you.   Have you felt like you have given all that you can give and there is no more to give?  If you have you aren’t alone.

If you stepped back and looked at your life how would you rate your sense of well-being on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = Need Help Now, 10 = Living ideally)?   What is your score?   Are you living the life you thought you’d be living now?  Debt free?  Enough time to do what you love doing?  Finding peace and tranquility in your life?

Have you slipped into the exhaustion funnel and are slowly watching your life spin out of control?  Many people have and are deciding that working 12 hour days isn’t the kind of life they envisioned for themselves.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that job stress poses a threat to the health of workers.    Nearly 25% of employees view their jobs as the main stressor in their lives.  Health issues are increasing and they are being driven by on the job stress.

When job expectations are not in alignment with employee expectations stress will occur.   When managers expect more from people and use threats (and the fact there are many others seeking work) many employees feel powerless to ask for changes to be made.   Over time the stress leads to more illness, less productivity and more conflict.

Signs of stress include:
– Headaches
– Irregular sleep
– Short term
– Difficulty focusing and concentrating
– Upset Stomach
– Job dissatisfaction

What do you do if you find yourself at the limit and not willing or able to take on one more thing.

One way to combat the stress of work and life is to take time out of your day to do some mindfulness exercises.  Even five minutes of deep breathing every couple of hours can have a dramatic impact in reducing the level of stress  you feel.

– Stop and take a deep breath, count to six on inhale and exhale counting down from six.   Do that for 3 to 5 minutes.

Learn mindfulness  and learn how to reconnect with your feelings and become aware of your feelings, stress and anxiety , feel the sensations in your body and identify them.  What are you feeling and experiencing?   What emotions are most present?   Write down what you are sensing?

Can you let go of those feelings?
Will you let go of those feelings?

Let yourself feel a sense of calm and peace come to you.  Notice what it feels like.  Relax and let the stress go.

Take just a few minutes each day to let go of the stress, the anxiety, the worry, the fear and the noise.   Just let it go.

LESS 

Focus on fewer things in your life.  Let things go.   Turn off the phone, TV, radio and just relax for a few minutes.

the daily routine

SONY DSC“Most of our faculties lie dormant because they can rely upon Habit, which knows what there is to be done and has no need of their services.”
― Marcel Proust

An enormous amount of your time is managed by the habits you have.  Habits can replace cognitive thinking with programmed patterns.   Driving to work can become a habit and so much so that act of driving to work becomes a non-experience.  Have you ever lost sense of driving to work?   Most people have.

If a habit like driving can be programmed into the mind, how many other daily activities have been replaced by a habit.  How you interact and greet other people can become a habit, the same phrase used over and over again.    Work could turn into a habit as well, routine, ordered and structured.

Have you noticed what things have been become routine at work?   What about other areas of your life?

If you decide your habits are not helping you grow or do things in a new way then it might be time to evaluate your habits and determine how they are impacting your life.

– Monitor your day.
– See what things are routine.
– Determine what things should be routine and what things should be changed.
– Start something new.  Do something different.  Be bold.
– Test the ideas.  Are you doing something better than you did before?

There are many things you can do to break a routine.  Take a different way to work.  Eat at different time.  Take a class rather than watching TV.

Interrupt the “normal” way of life.  It isn’t always easy.  Making changes allows you to grow and growth is good.

work as practice

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”
― Martha Graham

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How well do you do you work?   Do you do it as well as you’d like to do it?  Are you given the chance to really practice your skills or are you just doing the work without practice.

If you watched the “NCAA Basketball Championship” then you noticed that the winning team was only able to their results through hours and hours of practice.  A winning team needs a lot of practice, lots of working together, working on understanding how others communicate and to learn the strengths and abilities of the other team members.

How much time do you spend learning about the other people on your team?  What are their weaknesses?  What are their strengths?   How would your team function if you could maximize the strengths of each of the team members?

In your role, what would you like to be more practiced in?   What would help you perform at a higher level?   How would you establish a program to help you improve your work and get more practice?