TIMES PER DAY
The Technology Demon
Read each statement under Activity and check all that apply to you. Then visualize events
that occurred over the last few days and estimate the number of times a day you were distracted or interrupted. Write down that estimate for the appropriate questions.
What might a client think if you forget
to attach a document or send a product
invoice for $9500.00 when the correct
amount is $95.00? Clearly, when you’re
distracted while working on your computer, idiocy is only a click away.
1 I misplace or lose devices such as a cell phone, PDA or iPad.
2 I waste money overusing shopping, gaming or gambling websites.
3 I am interrupted and sometimes feel overwhelmed by the chirping or ringing of cell phones and alerts.
4 I waste time using social networks, surfing the Internet or playing games.
5 I am distracted when driving due to use of my cell phone or iPad.
6 I rarely use security and back-up procedures for my com- puter or other devices.
7 I don’t have an organized system for storing manuals, passwords, log-ins or technical support information.
8 I rarely schedule time to organize or delete old messages or files.
9 I have trouble keeping track of paraphernalia such as chargers and cords.
10 I forget to schedule regular maintenance for equipment, software or virus-scanning updates.
Face the Issue Straight On
Although you might be tempted to
minimize or dismiss the effects of distraction, instead, face the issue directly.
It’s time to analyze the irritating,
sometimes disastrous, effects of the
Technology Demon and its distractions
on your work/life.
If you checked more than one or two items, the Technology Demon may be inhibiting
your efficiency. Do you see how better management of technology yields higher produc-
tivity and lowers stress? Strive to get a handle on digital distractions every day.
Start by asking these questions:
• Am I suffering constant and irritating
• To what degree do distractions lead
to inattention, forgetfulness and disorganization—aka stress?
• How much more could I accomplish
if I weren’t so distracted?
• What are the costs and consequences
• How do distractions undermine my
attempts to align with my deepest
Fourth, given the gregarious nature
of speakers, you might be reticent to
set limits that ward off interruptions
through texts, emails, calls or social
media. Beware: They can quickly sabotage your best efforts to stay on track.
I weren't constantly interrupted,” or
“Once I get interrupted, it takes a long
time to get back on track”?
Even before the emergence of Twitter,
an Associated Press article in 2007 indicated a worker’s mind wanders about
one-third of the workday due to interruptions from others and self-distractions.
They can deplete your mental energy
and divert your attention from important
tasks, thus reducing your productivity.
In the image-based speaking profession, speakers certainly don’t want to
project a “flakey” impression to clients.
Did your answers reveal an inverse
relationship between distraction and the
effectiveness of your attention, memory,
organization and motivation? Would
you admit that the more distractions and
interruptions coming your way, the less
mental energy you have for focusing?
Don’t freeze in frustration. You have
the power to FOCUS.
You’re Not Alone
If distraction poses problems for you,
you have lots of company. Studies show
dealing with interruptions at work consumes more than two hours a day—or
28 percent of the entire workday. How
many times have you lamented, “I wish
F: FIND the three most common distractions that sabotage your efforts to
stay on track.
O: OVERCOME them by setting up a
distraction-free environment, committing to rules and routines that reduce
technology overuse/abuse and imposing