The Damage of Distractions

Our most precious commodity, no matter how wealthy, is time. We complain about being too busy -- an overfilled email box, double booked on meetings, no time to think through a report, let alone workout, dinner with family or a night out with friends.

The biggest obstacles to holding onto our time are the little distractions. We often don't even see them.

And it appears this is no imagined phenomenon. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that the American office worker is interrupted or switches tasks, on average, every three minutes and five seconds.

Worse still, the research shows that it takes an average 23 minutes and 15 seconds just to get back on track. That translates to:

6.2 hours lost every day
31 hours per week
67 days/year
280 billion lost hours in the American workforce
$1 trillion in damage to the US economy.

With even greater speed of change, conversations are happening more readily and spontaneously. That's all good. Yet, how do you manage the need to talk and manage your workflow.

One way is to take a SNACK: Stop, Notice, Accept, Curious, Kindness.    

Another is using apps like Samsung’s Thrive or iOS’s Moment to regain your focus. These services lets you create usage goals for particular apps and give you a warning when you exceed that amount.

Additionally, they can be used as a form of do-not-disturb mode, automatically rejecting texts and phone calls, and hiding notifications until you are no longer in a high-focus work mode. While it may seem silly to download an app to help you not use other apps,

Thrive pic.jpg

I challenge you to take a SNACK or try one of these apps for a week and see how much more you can get done in a day without all of those distractions.