This post on the HBR blog is written by Kare Anderson, a communications consultant and journalist.
The article talks about the importance of full attention to relationships.
She talks about how attention shapes our brains and how becoming more mindful on how your own attention patterns - something that Howard Rheingold writes about in his book, NetSmart.
What resonates from the article
First, that whatever you pay attention to — or not — has a huge effect on how you see the world and feel about it. And second, it's much easier to see your own attention patterns if you take the time to learn about someone else's.
As leaders, what you pay attention to not only controls your own brain, but sets the example for your team. Yet as with any scarce resource, you can only intelligently allocate your attention if you know where you're spending it.
To learn about your own attention patterns, examine someone else's. Most motivational speakers, self-help writers, therapists and pharmacologists encourage us to focus on "me." They suggest that we look inward to understand and improve ourselves for a happier, better life. That's not wrong; it is just incomplete. Instead of just asking, "What most preoccupies me? Does it make the make the world seem welcoming or withholding?" reach out to someone else. Be the best listener they've had in months. This is the first and most basic ingredient in any interaction. Simply gazing steadily and warmly at that person, nodding at times and reiterating what you heard will activate an empathic, mirror-neuron response in both of you.
My colleague Alex Samuels disagrees with Turkle and says that online life is what we make it - and that face-to-face conversations can be just as shallow. Alex points out that Turkle's generational argument doesn't necessarily hold true for all.
AssistedLivingToday created an infographic called “How Social Media is Ruining Our Minds” and it says over the last ten years the average attention span has dropped from 12 minutes to a shocking 5 SECONDS! I know that trying to maintain work and social media makes it so difficult to stay on task. I may be doing several things at the same time, but I know that I am not doing them well until I shut off social media. In the IG below check out the side effects of not having social media for 24 hours and the information about hormones.
The ability to take data - to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value form it, to visualize it, to communicate is giong to be a hugely important skill in the next decade - Hal Varian, Google
"Recognize that programming is everywhere, and it isn't all bad. Your programming started with your parents teaching you things, and both consciously and unconsciously programming you with all of their beliefs and attitudes. That is not necessarily bad — it is usually good. You are better off for having had parents who cared about you and wanted to teach you. But unfortunately, you also inherited all of their misinformation, superstitions, mistakes, and irrational and untrue beliefs."
Focusing on more than one thing decreases your productivity by 40% and lowers your IQ by 10 points, according to Harvard Business Review. And it almost goes without saying how dangerous it is to multitask while driving.
Are you one of those people who spends more time communicating about a project than actually doing the project? Stop. Only allow yourself to check your email a few times throughout the day. If you have important emails that need to be sent out, try scheduling them with Boomerang. And to limit your time even further, check out five sentences or less, which stops you from sending emails longer than five sentences. To make the most of your inbox, and time spent in it, try ActiveInbox, a Gmail/Google Apps plugin that helps you organize your emails into to-do lists. So organize your inbox, write your five-sentence email, and then get the hell out of that inbox.
Next time you run a Google search, think about the fact that it’s just one of 2 million that Google will receive in that minute. In the same amount of time, Facebook users post 684,478 pieces of content.
All the more reason to have good attention and focus while working online. Otherwise, distraction sets in.
My take? “Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what’s important.” It’s a choice. Perhaps said another way, information overload is a symptom of our inability to focus on what’s truly important or relevant to who we are as individuals, professionals, and as human beings. But then again, maybe that’s the problem. The reality is that we are learning how to use these networks and what to expect in return. We’re learning what’s possible. However, we learn as we go. We discover where the proverbial line is only after we’ve crossed or are witnesses to those who do. Our teachers, parents, role models and peers, they to coming to grips with the evolution of social media and digital culture as it affects online and offline behavior along with us. Therefore, this is a time when we are all students. But at some point, we must also become teachers
Sherry Turkle argues in this opinion piece that we've sacrificed conversation for mere connection. She describes how being connected to so many people online does not allow the depth of connection and relationship building.
Excerpted from the original source by Paulo Simoes
"Managing resources is one of the most important skills for students (people!) to master. I started blogging in 2000 and have spent a significant amount of time trying to devise an information management system that I can use to make sense of a topic or discipline. I've attached an image below that highlights the process and tools that I use." (George Siemens)
Jason W. Womack wrote this article for all of us, who struggle with information overload. I selected it because.......
To be a good content curator, the first step is knowing how to harness your attention, to be able to filter, focus, and find the best and be able to leave the rest
**It's important to keep refining your daily habits and the author has some great suggestions on how to do that.
Jason Womack warns "in the age of information overload, when it comes to what we have time to focus on, we are often forced to sacrifice quality for quantity.
Here's what caught my attention:
When you multi-task, you can't give your undivided attention the the things you're working on.
**Set a timer for 15-minute intervals
Womack says that our days are actually made up of about 100 15-minute intervals. In fact 15 minutes is just about the right "chunk" of time for us to be able to stay focused, minimize interruptions and work effectively
**Know when you're not focused and implement ways to refocus
When you're working with your timer, write down eah instance when you lose focus-even if it's just to look at a clock to see what time it is.
**Carry a camera with you
Carrying a camera with you is actually a great way to become more in tune with your environment.
**I do this one and it really helps bring me into the present moment
There are three different learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Everyone in your network falls into one of these categories.
**(very important tip, when you're not talking and focusing your attention here, it's an amazing experience on so many levels)
This piece was written by Evren Kiefer for Paper.li talking about a challenge we all face - information overload and how we streamline our diet. Or can we?
"Content doesn't have a season -- the feast is all year round" Overload or gluttony?
Here's what caught my attention:
“Information overload”, I hear you say, “we know that already”. Is it really the problem, though?
**As Clay Shirky argues in his talk “It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure”, information overload is our new environment of plenty and not a problem that needs solving.
****It lies upon us to create internal and external filters to manage our time and attention because they are our most precious resources.
My commentary: I think this is most important for all of us, continually refining our ability to select only what we need and leave the rest. Today everyone is a publisher and everyone has an opinion. Aren't we suffering from meaning overwhelm as well?
What are your thoughts? How are you dealing with this? I'd love to hear your comments.