Archive for the ‘Focus’ Category

For many of us, information overload is an everyday reality. Between emails, texts, websites we frequent, phone calls, print media, broadcast media, news sources, etc., we have more information coming at us than we reasonably have time to absorb. Add to these the simple things of wanting to read an occasional book or pursue an educational goal, and the amount of input we heap on ourselves quickly gets out of control.

Some of it is important, but not all of it.

Periodically I have to unsubscribe from email newsletters, follow fewer people on Twitter, unfriend a few folks on Facebook, choose to take some time off from the routine websites I visit, and somehow reduce the quantity of info storming my way. I’ve done that quite a bit in the past few days.

When we allow our consumption of information to go unchecked, we end up devoting too much time nibbling at the edges on insignificant crumbs and we invest too little time feasting on what awaits us at the center of the plate.

If you have regular emails from some business or organization that no longer serve a useful purpose, then unsubscribe. Do the same with other connections in social media or print media. Try to remember every now and then that information sources are probably not useful to us forever. We need to impose an expiration date.

De-clutter the path of information from the world to your brain. Experience the simple freedom of leap year lesson #9: Reduce the noise.

Earlier today my colleague, John, posted the following as a Facebook status update: “One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is I will not have a conversation with you if, at the same time, you are reading your text messages and texting people. It is rude. I will politely say, ‘I’ll wait till you are done’ and attempt to make you feel as uncomfortable and awkward as possible. I don’t care who you are. You are not that important that the world will end if you are not on-line 24/7.”

I know how he feels. If you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone and there are constant interruptions from texts, emails, calls, etc., then the message that is sent to the real, live human being standing in front of the distracted person is that every other possible person in the world is more important than you. Anyone can at anytime cut to the front of the line electronically. That’s wrong. We can do better.

Focusing on those we are with, being present in the moment for the good of conversation, listening, understanding and relationships is a simple human kindness that is being lost in a world of too many distractions. The book Fish by Lundin, Paul and Christensen would simply say “Be there” in mind and body… focused.

I speak as one guilty of succumbing to the lures of technology when I should put them aside and concentrate on the family member, friend or coworker in front of me. Much of my life at work and play revolves around technology and I admit it is fun to be immersed in it. But people are more important than gadgets and we would do well to remember that.

Leap year lesson #6 is Be There.