Posts Tagged With: distractions

The Moderation Burger – When Moderation Becomes Distraction (post by Kirk Weisler)

moderation burger

Can you ever have too much moderation?  Is it possible to too many time-saving devices that actually deceive us into thinking we have more time to give to less important things?  Are you as easily distracted as I am?  Is it possible for moderation itself to become a distraction?

on phone

In response to a previous post on this topic I received a comment that was loaded with far more wisdom than the post itself.  I asked the commenter Gretchen McKinney for permission to share.  It is so wonderfully authentic and I hope that it resonates with you as it did with me.  Gretchen writes….

Ok Kirk, you have no idea how much this resonated with me.  I am a mom of 4,  ages 17, 10, 4 and 19 months and as if it is not busy enough with 4 goobers then you the “everything else” and because of the “everything else” I feel I live a very distracted life.  I attempt to do everything with meaning and purpose but I often fail because of this distracted life of mine and I KNOW that I SHOULD be doing more because as parents we have A LOT to show and do with our kids.

I was told recently by a long time co-worker who is a LCSW that our 2 older kids are REALLY good kids (he likes the little ones too but obviously can’t gage them like the 2 older ones).  He told me he sees the good and bad everyday and wanted me to know that we are doing something right because he said they are true, genuine, good kids.  I cried…heck I bawled.    Because I often feel like a failure and he KNOWS that…so then I thought WOW, maybe we are doing good and right by them.  BUT then I immediately thought, I wonder if the 2 littles ones are going to be as good.  I think this because in today’s society the priorities are so different then they were even 5 years ago.  I have so many more distractions than I did even 5 years ago.  We depend on technology, social media, etc.  I had a cell phone that I had for 7 years and everyone made fun of me because it was almost as big as a bag phone…it still worked and I didn’t need a data package despite it being a “smartphone” so in January I caved and bought an iPhone.  I feel this was one of my worst mistakes this year…I have lived 37 years without data why do I need it now?  It adds in another distraction and these distractions continue to pile up…thus contributing to a busy life but not always a meaningful one.

LIVING A LESS DISTRACTING LIFE

So in wrapping up “my ramblings” we started about a month ago making some positive changes to live a less distracted life:  1)  I got rid of facebook…I realize everything is good in moderation however how many “moderations” can we fit in before they all become distractions.  2)  I turn off my cell phone between the hours of 10am and 2 pm so I only focus on my little ones.  3)  I do NOT check my phone with my family in tow.  4)  No technology on school nights for the kids.  NONE!  I thought these changes would be tough and be met with much resistance however it was not as tought as I thought, and the results have been INCREDIBLE!  We can all hopefully relate to the memory of a nice dinner with some enjoyable conversation.   But since turning off technology our whole night, not just during dinner,  is now like 1 VERY long dinner conversation.  I hear “momma” so much more but man, is that music to my ears.

gretchen family

I am a mom that wants to enjoy these years and focus on the things that matter the most because I remember like it was yesterday that our 17-year-old was our 18 month old.  Kirk I wish you and your readers a great weekend…

~gretchen mckinney

  1. This is a great post….  It brought tears to my eyes. http://www.handsfreemama.com/2012/05/07/how-to-miss-a-childhood/

( I WENT AND READ THIS POST… it was very good!  Thank you Gretchen for sharing with us)

playing blocks with jospeh

“Most of us will miss the real significance of what we might experience from this life, and what we might contribute to this life, not because we are bad people doing bad things, but because we have allowed ourselves to become distracted from doing the most important ones.”

We all know it can be hard work to stay focused on the most important things… but we also know staying focused on those things may be the most important work we will ever do.  ~ Kirk Weisler

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Categories: kirk weisler, coffee sugar, exercise 3, yoga class, and walking in the garden. | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Not Adding Up? Start Subtracting (post by Kirk Weisler)

Don’t let someone or something waste your time… because your time is your life.

Have you ever killed a day just surfing online… then tried to justify by saying you deserved a day to yourself to just kick back.  But really you knew you would have been much happier and healthier if you had invested that day in living, learning, and doing something that stretched you?  Or perhaps you were so busy, so caught up in being busy that you weren’t able to be present when it mattered.  Physically your body was there but part of your mind racing ahead to the next thing, while another part was regretting the just past thing that you know didn’t go as well as it could have …had you not been stretched so thin.

Sometimes the very best thing we can give to ourselves and to others is NO.  Just say NO.  Less really can be more… and more really can add up to being less.

Fewer distractions …more focus, more meaning, more connection… more depth.

I remember a family member trying to organize a week in England for me and Rebecca.  I have just finished a conference there and we had arranged to remain in the UK for another 8 days to “see the sights” and do stuff.   My well-intentioned in-law had it all arranged…we could see everything… The Tower, The Guard, The crown jewells… and on and on.  It was a whirlwind tour….but the more I looked at the schedule the more I kept thinking it seemed more like a drive by shooting that would leave us dead or at least wounded and wondering what has happened.

As graciously as we could… I thanked them for their suggestions and willingness to be helpful… and declined.  We borrowed a car, took a quick driving lesson around the block… and then drove into the country without a map or GPS.   We stopped when it looked interesting… or when we felt to stop.  We found a very small town “Snowshill” pronounced by the locals as “Snozzel”.  There was one Bed & Breakfast, one church and one Pub.  There we stopped, we stayed and we connected with our hosts, the locals at the pub, with the country, and with each other.

That was nearly 10 years ago and we still talk about that trip, that town and the wonderful people we met there.  Be subtracting …. we added.

What can you subtract to help things add up…and add more meaning in your life?

Kirk

Categories: kirk weisler, coffee sugar, exercise 3, yoga class, and walking in the garden. | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning

Peter Bregman

PETER BREGMAN

Peter Bregman is a strategic advisor to CEOs and their leadership teams. His latest book is 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done.

I was late for my meeting with the CEO of a technology company and I was emailing him from my iPhone as I walked onto the elevator in his company’s office building. I stayed focused on the screen as I rode to the sixth floor. I was still typing with my thumbs when the elevator doors opened and I walked out without looking up. Then I heard a voice behind me, “Wrong floor.” I looked back at the man who was holding the door open for me to get back in; it was the CEO, a big smile on his face. He had been in the elevator with me the whole time. “Busted,” he said.

The world is moving fast and it’s only getting faster. So much technology. So much information. So much to understand, to think about, to react to. A friend of mine recently took a new job as the head of learning and development at a mid-sized investment bank. When she came to work her first day on the job she turned on her computer, logged in with the password they had given her, and found 385 messages already waiting for her.

So we try to speed up to match the pace of the action around us. We stay up until 3 am trying to answer all our emails. We twitter, we facebook, and we link-in. We scan news websites wanting to make sure we stay up to date on the latest updates. And we salivate each time we hear the beep or vibration of a new text message.

But that’s a mistake. The speed with which information hurtles towards us is unavoidable (and it’s getting worse). But trying to catch it all is counterproductive. The faster the waves come, the more deliberately we need to navigate. Otherwise we’ll get tossed around like so many particles of sand, scattered to oblivion. Never before has it been so important to be grounded and intentional and to know what’s important.

Never before has it been so important to say “No.” No, I’m not going to read that article. No, I’m not going to read that email. No, I’m not going to take that phone call. No, I’m not going to sit through that meeting.

It’s hard to do because maybe, just maybe, that next piece of information will be the key to our success. But our success actually hinges on the opposite: on our willingness to risk missing some information. Because trying to focus on it all is a risk in itself. We’ll exhaust ourselves. We’ll get confused, nervous, and irritable. And we’ll miss the CEO standing next to us in the elevator.

A study of car accidents by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute put cameras in cars to see what happens right before an accident. They found that in 80% of crashes the driver was distracted during the three seconds preceding the incident. In other words, they lost focus — dialed their cell phones, changed the station on the radio, took a bite of a sandwich, maybe checked a text — and didn’t notice that something changed in the world around them. Then they crashed.

The world is changing fast and if we don’t stay focused on the road ahead, resisting the distractions that, while tempting, are, well, distracting, then we increase the chances of a crash.

Now is a good time to pause, prioritize, and focus. Make two lists:

List 1: Your Focus List (the road ahead)What are you trying to achieve? What makes you happy? What’s important to you? Design your time around those things. Because time is your one limited resource and no matter how hard you try you can’t work 25/8.

List 2: Your Ignore List (the distractions)

To succeed in using your time wisely, you have to ask the equally important but often avoided complementary questions: what are you willing not to achieve? What doesn’t make you happy? What’s not important to you? What gets in the way?

Some people already have the first list. Very few have the second. But given how easily we get distracted and how many distractions we have these days, the second is more important than ever. The leaders who will continue to thrive in the future know the answers to these questions and each time there’s a demand on their attention they ask whether it will further their focus or dilute it.

Which means you shouldn’t create these lists once and then put them in a drawer. These two lists are your map for each day. Review them each morning, along with your calendar, and ask: what’s the plan for today? Where will I spend my time? How will it further my focus? How might I get distracted? Then find the courage to follow through, make choices, and maybe disappoint a few people.

After the CEO busted me in the elevator, he told me about the meeting he had just come from. It was a gathering of all the finalists, of which he was one, for the title of Entrepreneur of the Year. This was an important meeting for him — as it was for everyone who aspired to the title (the judges were all in attendance) — and before he entered he had made two explicit decisions: 1. To focus on the meeting itself and 2. Not to check his BlackBerry.

What amazed him was that he was the only one not glued to a mobile device. Were all the other CEOs not interested in the title? Were their businesses so dependent on them that they couldn’t be away for one hour? Is either of those a smart thing to communicate to the judges?

There was only one thing that was most important in that hour and there was only one CEO whose behavior reflected that importance, who knew where to focus and what to ignore. Whether or not he eventually wins the title, he’s already winning the game.

Editor’s note: The original version of this post didn’t include a link to the study about car accidents. Here it is.

Categories: kirk weisler, coffee sugar, exercise 3, yoga class, and walking in the garden. | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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