Age of Distractions
We call this as “
”. That’s right. It is full of information. We do admit that we suffer from abundance of information. We have too much information to digest and deal with.
Even more it has become an "
Age of Distractions
". One is constantly distracted from all directions. Every time you are distracted, your focus is lost. And it takes quite a while for one to get back and focus on what he was doing. Sometimes, due to the nature of distraction, one cannot continue what he was doing anymore. So sad, but many are increasingly becoming victims of those distractions.
What is the cause for Distraction?
The very sources that are giving you information are also causing distractions. Here are the main distracters:
I have seen many who are always connected. They are either talking on phone or messaging. They are either reading a mail or sending one. They are viewing someone else’s photos in social networking website and commenting on that or uploading their own photos.
SMS has become very affordable. There are offers from mobile networks that encourage many to talk more, send more messages.
So you are bombarded with messages, calls, mails, chatting invitation and comments from friends in social networking websites.
Victims of Distractions
Unfortunately the benefits of information are outweighed by the pitfalls of distractions.
Many are not able to sit with solitude and focus on a task for a while.
A typical scenario is, one boots the computer, starts his/her work and then comes a pop up window with the message “What’s up buddy?” from a friend. Many are driven by that and start the chat. They go on and on, leaving the work they started. Or it may be a call on mobile or a message chat or some other mindless notification that distracts you.
So, who is to be blamed?
Are we to blame technology like mobile phone or Internet for distractions?
We got to blame ourselves. In my honest opinion all these distractions are self-inflicted. You are inviting them. Not that they are forced upon you.
Why should you be connected all through the day? Why should you receive every call or read every message as and when it comes? Why should you check mails every now-and-then and read comments in social networking websites as if your life depends on them?
What we really need is a simple reality check and an honest admission that we are addicted to “Connection Addiction”. We are connected to online world more than required. We are giving others a chance to reach us even when they don’t have to reach us.
So let us stop blaming others for calling or messaging you. Take the blame on you. The simple truth is you have a choice to take call, or read message as it arrives. So it’s you who reads the message or receives call (probably knowing it wouldn’t be of high importance). So the control lies with you. The distraction is your own making because you let it happen.
Why are people getting distracted so much?
I am no psychologist. But I feel it is about "self-esteem". I mean people feel high about themselves when others show interest in them. A message or a mail from someone would gratify the fact that he or she is thinking of you and spending time to send mail or message to you. It makes us feel great.
Of course, by all means, it is a great feeling to be loved, cared for. No doubt. Every human being craves for it.
But are we getting a little and losing a lot?
Your Facebook account has hundreds of friends. You keep logging in and checking who said what about your new profile picture or some video that you uploaded. If everyone in the world is busy, world would have been a different place. So the fact is, there are a lot of people on the planet earth who don’t have much to do (or don’t want to do much). So they keep posting comments on everything you update. It feeds your ego. Your self-esteem goes up as you feel a lot of people are interested in you. May be true; but in the process, you get distracted and lose focus on something that is more important in your life. Every time you are distracted it takes quite a while to refocus. All that time you spend on gaining focus is lost and lost forever. Every time you are distracted, you are off target for a while. Alarming facts reveal that the time thus lost is significant in each day.
Well, I know it is important to be connected and to inform others about your major activities. Of course there are people who care to know your well being. But it doesn’t mean you spend hours on Facebook or talking on phone. There can never be more than 24 hours in a day. So when you spend some time on one, you can’t spend it on another which is probably more important task.
How to get rid of distractions?
Well it is very simple. First of all, it needs honest admission from your side that you are getting distracted. If you think the amount of distraction is very little and it doesn’t derail your journey towards goals then it is fine. But you have to be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Otherwise you are bluffing yourself.
In case, you admit that you are being distracted then get rid of sources of distraction.
First of all, schedule your day. A time for everything and everything in its time.
Here are some recommendations of mine:
Stay away from your mobile phone. Do not receive calls from unknown sources and unimportant sources. You may see from where the message has come, but do not bother to read unless the message is from your bank or Credit Card company. Again you got to be honest about it. After all it’s your life and your goals. No one achieves your goals for you except you. If you feel every message and every call is important, you are back to square.
Disconnect from Internet. If your work involves Internet then turn off all kinds of notifications. Close tabs related to your social networking and email websites.
You can connect to Internet after certain amount of work like 2 hours or 3 hours or whatever that suits you. This allows you to balance both your work and being available to others and to sources of information.
Always spend some time in tranquility. Give yourself time to reflect. Connect to nature. Sit at shore (if you are fortunate enough to live by shore) and watch tides. Otherwise look at hills with greenery, or trees in the park or whatever nature that is available to you. But disconnect from the rest of the world and connect to your inner self. Reflect and retrospect. Many are living such a high paced life, they have no time to think about themselves and self check. Another very constructive step towards self check is to log your actions on daily basis. Keep writing your actions all through the day. At the end of the day or week, you will understand what your priorities have been. Your log depicts your priorities. If you are off track, admit and get back on track.
Stay away from TV for as much time as possible. I see some sit in front of TV with no purpose. They keep switching channel to channel. Now-a-days you have all kinds of channels 24x7. So if you addicted to TV, you are stuck to TV 24x7. What a pity to spend your living days doing nothing worthwhile but watching TV.
If you feel, you have spare time from your work then read a book, learn to play an instrument or involve in a sport. They all relieve you from stress of life. Anything you learn is a big plus. Learning is real fun and essence of life. Knowledge is power. Keep learning.
With so many resources available to many of us, the ones who use them constructively will be successful. You can use or abuse a resource. Choice is yours. You are (good or bad) because of the choices you make.
I personally feel if a person in this information era can use information effectively there is no way he can’t succeed. The same source that gives you information can also cause distraction. So use all sources of information judiciously.