Wednesday, 6 July 2016

How can we avoid the noise?

Hyper connectivity

You are powerful and ill tell you why.

How do you filter out all that noise that you are constantly bombarded with?

The internet is a powerful tool and also a powerful distraction. A double edged sword. On one end we can extract relevant and useful information in mere seconds on the other end the hyperlinks lead us to other irrelevant sites, and the advertisements do not serve our purpose.

Social media interactions with friends of whom you find out about their status yet you don't actually know what they are feeling. You know about their updates yet you know nothing about their circumstances.

Emails that come in from marketers who push products on you that you don't need or want. They beg you to try them out and harass you until you reply. Then they harass you some more.

Text, calls, notifications, beeps, vibrations and sounds. NOISE.

How do we know what to pay attention to and what to avoid?

In this hyper connected world, we become obedient slaves to the system of which we have created.

I have written about how we are so connected yet isolated and alienated.

Even now as I am writing this blog I am can hear my phone beeping with messages, pings and vibrations. As the messages are coming through the phone begins to ring while that is happening emails pop up. As that's going on social media feeds are updated, and now someone sending a message over on Whatsapp.

How can we stay focused on our task when this happens to us all day long?

We have become so good with distractions that we actually think on a different level than our ancestors. Our neural connections allow us to think rapidly about several different unrelated things at once. Is this good? Have we become smarter?

We created these tools and machines as a means of being more in control, instead we have lost control. We have lost control over our behaviour and actions.

Simon Sinek says: "What all those notifications do is increase our dopamine hits." This is what makes us want more, and we have the hardest time resisting letting go when we know someone is trying to reach us on the other end.

In fact, Pebble the smart watch was created for that same reason. When you are riding your bicycle and you hear the phone ringing do you stop to answer it or let it go. Well now you can just look at your wrist and there it is. You won't miss a beat.

On a side note, did you happen to click on any of the links above of which I highlighted and underlined? Did this distract you from finishing this post? Was it your curiosity that led you to find out where that link was going to send you?

What happened to becoming empowered by these tools? Instead of becoming debilitated. There are solutions. Yes, that's right you can get control back over your life, if of course that is what you want.

Uh the power of choice.

Airplane mode, silence, turn it off, UNPLUG yourself from the connected world and you gain power over what has been governing you. Easy to say? Easy to do!

All those tools were meant for us to decide when to connect to the person on the other end. It's not up to the tools and it is definitely not up to the person on the other end of them. It is up to you.

So you say that you need to check your emails after work? Who put you up to this? Your boss?

After work is your time, not your boss's time.

So you are an entrepreneur and business, as I am well aware of this, runs from when you wake up until you go to bed. Are you satisfied with the current state you are in? Yes, technology affects our moods. If you are satisfied, then great don't change anything.

Dr. John Douillard tells us that "Our computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices can have us plugged in 24/7 and can often cause us to feel fatigue and exhaustion, which can take heavy tolls on our mood, health, and well-being. Since our technology never sleeps, it is important that we sync with the daily rhythms of nature and get adequate rest at proper times for optimal health."

However, if you feel that you are constantly stressed, then change must happen and it must happen now not someday. Disconnect yourself from this connected world. Let it earn your attention.

Stress often leads to forgetfulness, depression and poor judgment,” says Patricia Gutentag, family and occupational therapist.

"Your attention is limited, treat it like the scarce resource that it is."

Very basic principle: When you pay attention and focus on one thing you do not and cannot focus on something else.

Deep Work as Cal Newport puts it "Focused work comes from deep rooted concentration, putting yourself away from any distraction.....The best moment is when the person is stretched to his limit, body or mind.....You need structure to how your going to do your deep work, change to the environment might be necessary......When you realize time is scarce you become frugal and you do not waste it."

Many of the prolific writers warn us that in order to get thought provoking work done we must get into the state of flow, this means putting away any distraction or switch tasking.

There was a point in time when I felt not only addicted by wasteful with my time on social media, specifically Instagram. I will write another post about my 30 day Sabbath. What pushed me to do it. How I felt about it before, during and after. The findings of my result.

What I would suggest is this: Set priorities. Ask yourself what is the purpose and importance level of what you are doing? If there is none put it away or don't do it. If it is for pleasure, make sure you monitor your activity so it doesn't go beyond your specific time of which you set yourself.

All of this goes back to becoming self-aware. I know setting limitations in what seems to be an unlimited environment seems childish. However, this structured method is the best way to get the most use and the most concentrated work with your time.

There have been studies proving that going out on nature walks or looking at nature photographs does increase your attention rather than walking through an urban city. The difference was noticeable when they returned to their work.

What my intentions for this post were to explain to you how to filter out the noise and find the things that are of utmost importance to you however, I feel instead I now gave you a backdrop on what that noise is doing to you and how you can avoid the noise all together.

Remember the reward will still be waiting for you. Turn of those notifications and go to whatever it is you choose on your time not when the notification is blinking and telling you to do it.

Do it on your terms.

That is the power that we forget we have with us at all times.

As always thank you for coming to this part of the post. To be continued....

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