Sunday, October 18, 2009

Attention Deficit Society

I'm convinced that everyone's really just looking for a shortcut. Over my many years of working with people privately and in groups, the clearer it is that many people just want an easier way out. Well, not because we're lazy (well, some are); it's more that we're completely overwhelmed.

Half the time, we all feel like we're drinking from an information fire hose. If you're anything like me, you're bombarded, and I literally mean bombarded by information, all day long. There's unwanted information (ads and pop-ups) and also WANTED information, stuff you asked for or paid for, and actually do want to get (like something you're trying to learn to improve yourself or how you do things). Not to mention the hundreds of emails we all get each day that we can't always respond to.

It almost seems like we're turning into an "attention deficit" society. Blame it on whatever you want (the media, the Internet, too many TV stations, spam, satellite radio channels, TiVO, etc.), we all don't have enough attention to spread out to do everything we want, including the stuff we don't. So we sometimes go into inaction mode and don't do ANYTHING. It's getting harder to keep focused, harder to make decisions, and mental concentration on just ONE thing seems to be getting more and more rare.

I'm noticing the people I work with also have WAY TOO MUCH to pay attention to. In addition to their work, they've got families, responsibilities, email, bills, and personal and professional development they need to focus on. In an age when we all have instant access to a ridiculous amount of information, making sense of it all and putting it all into place seems to be the hardest thing. And then we beat ourselves up about it.

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