Distraction is my kryptonite. At worst, I actively go looking for it (usually when my energy is dipping.) At best, I am continually in a fight to resist it’s many tempting forms. There are of course benefits to a ‘welcomed distraction’, a chance to consciously step away from something in order to refresh, re-energise and relax.

My fight is with the unchecked, uncensored, continual interference that we’re bombarded with every minute of the day that threatens to take my attention away from the task at hand. My coping strategy is often to multi-task, deal with all the distraction and firefight my way through a day.

But I know this strategy is neither smart nor clever! We have brains with billions of neurons and many trillions of connections, but we don’t thrive doing multiple things at the same time. Sadly, I’m told multitasking is a myth, it does not exist, at least not as we think about it. Instead we switch tasks.

Apparently, it takes time (an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds) to re-orient to a primary task after a distraction such as an email, a tweet, a text, a WhatsApp ‘ping’, a Facebook ‘buzz’ and LinkedIn ‘whatever’.

According to the American Psychological Association our efficiency drops by as much as 40%. Long-term memory suffers and creativity — a skill associated with keeping in mind multiple, less common, associations — is reduced.

Our consultancy, Upping your Elvis, is all about waking business up and embedding a culture of energy, awareness and creativity. We want people to feel creatively alive.

I shared some of my tips I have learnt in dealing with the demons that drive me to distraction with Minutehack. Click here to learn how to stay in the moment, remain focused and ultimately become more of a deadly creative ninja!

Jim

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