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Unplug
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Take a deep breath, slow down to navigate into a richer more fulfilling life.
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The Disease of Being Busy

The Disease of Being Busy | Unplug | Scoop.it
Our overscheduled lives leave little time for contemplation and reflection. How do we enable each other to pause and reflect together and ask how our hearts are doing?
craig daniels's insight:

It's almost impossible to not get caught in the distraction trap. Everywhere we turn something is waving at us, something is pleading for our attention and focus.


Take a moment (yes I'm waving for your attention) to read this post, you'll be glad you did.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 2, 7:23 PM

And the article is not just about adults.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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The High Cost of Multitasking | infographic

The High Cost of Multitasking | infographic | Unplug | Scoop.it
Multitasking is a fact of our modern, connected life. However, research shows it makes us less effective, increases mistakes and stress, and costs the
craig daniels's insight:

After dozens of well respected studies showing that mulitasking leads to getting less quality work down people still swear they are the exception to the rule. Go figure...

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, January 23, 2014 1:24 PM

Multi-tasking takes away from creativity and effectiveness. In a classroom, it takes away from learning. The problem is we have adults in schools who are serial multi-taskers and who influence children with that behaviour. Now, some of it is a product of the work we do, but some of it is denial.

PracSimplicityGroup's curator insight, January 23, 2014 3:54 PM

Funny how the downsides now seem obvious!

Sabrina Li's curator insight, November 4, 2014 12:47 AM

A really nice infographic talking about multitasking in the workplace. It summarizes data including task-switching, multitasking effects on errors/speed, etc. while also boasting some affordances of using video web conferencing. 

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Just Press Off

Just Press Off | Unplug | Scoop.it
It’s easy to get caught up in all the noise surrounding us.
craig daniels's insight:

It's true simplicity does create focus and it's not hard to do... Just Press Off...

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Zero In - A Path to More Aware Leadership

J Ruth Kelly's insight:


Excuse me while I see who this text is from... Oh, wait. Have you noticed how it's become more and more difficult to zero in on specifics and stay there? Essential leadership skills consist of what Daniel Goleman refers to as a "triad of awareness."


These three golden disciplines are:


  • focusing on yourself
  • focusing on others
  • focusing on the wider world


Cram-jammed full of clarification of what the triad of awareness consists of and how it reveals character, this Harvard Business Review blog post is worth your undivided attention in spite of the length. Of particular illuminating significance, you'll find this nugget explains quite a lot in our current culture:


"Alarmingly, research suggests that as people rise through the ranks and gain power, their ability to perceive and maintain personal connections tends to suffer a sort of psychic attrition. In studying encounters between people of varying status, Dacher Keltner, a psychologist at Berkeley, has found that higher-ranking individuals consistently focus their gaze less on lower-ranking people and are more likely to interrupt or to monopolize the conversation."


This read also uncovers how focus and creativity go hand-in-hand. Goleman's put out yet another revealing, empowering exploration of emotional intelligence.

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Finding Balance with Extended Reading, Writing and Thinking Time

"The brain is constantly changing and rewiring itself based on the stimulus it receives; in neuroscience, we call this "brain plasticity." As you read each word of this blog, the neural networks of your brain are active in response to the words, as well as the white noise of the air conditioning, the voices next door, the tempting smell of that banana, and the countless other stimuli in the room around you."

craig daniels's insight:

Our focus is derailed by our own minds squirting dopamine at every opportunity and perceived threat that comes along.


Practicing attention and focus will teach our brain that we want to read and write longer without giving into distractions.

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Mindfulness: An Antidote for Workplace ADD

Mindfulness: An Antidote for Workplace ADD | Unplug | Scoop.it

"People not being fully present is a big problem because the most effective interactions occur when two people are mutually present to each other. That's when rapport happens. That's when chemistry happens. That's when you're going to have the most powerful communication and mutual understanding."

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How the smartphone killed the three-day weekend

How the smartphone killed the three-day weekend | Unplug | Scoop.it
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer and all it evokes: vacations, slower workweeks, casual dress codes, getting the pool ready and pulling out the outdoor furniture.
craig daniels's insight:

It's hard to be in the land of multiple devices and not at least take a peak of two now and then. But what is becoming a problem is the constant looking at our phones and tablets, so much so we are having trouble holding our focus during the day.

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Study: People Check Their Cell Phones Every Six Minutes, 150 Times A Day

Study: People Check Their Cell Phones Every Six Minutes, 150 Times A Day | Unplug | Scoop.it
While it seems as if people are constantly on their smartphones, it may not be so far from the truth, as new research suggests that people, on average, check their phones every six-and-a-half minutes.
craig daniels's insight:

How many times a day to you think you check your cell phone?


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Why You Should Unplug

Why You Should Unplug | Unplug | Scoop.it
Taking the occasional digital fast could improve your focus.


"Psychotherapist Lisa Brateman, LCSW, says that being overly tuned in to smartphones and laptops causes over-stimulation, anxiety and stress. "People are often in the quick-to-respond mode, which undermines their ability to calm down and relax, taking a toll on their emotional state," she says. "

craig daniels's insight:

Robin Madell has put together an quick and easy to read of the benefits of disconnecting on a regular basis along with some of the pitfalls of not unplugging.


It's a good thing to clear your head and regain your focus from time to time, your brain as well as your friends will thank you.

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Avoiding Social Media Burnout - 5 Tips

Avoiding Social Media Burnout - 5 Tips | Unplug | Scoop.it
Don’t try to be everywhere. A common cause of social media burnout is the tendency to try to be on every social media channel, rather than focusing on the channels that will give a business the biggest bang for their buck.


"Unplug when you can. Just like anything else, when you take the time to step away and disconnect, you feel more refreshed when it’s time to come back."

craig daniels's insight:

Social media is a bit like watching the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland scurry from one place to the next and never really spend enough time in any one place to get to know it.


I'm pretty sure we were not born to emulate a mythical rabbit, we have not evolved to become slaves to the unending demands of social media.


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Mindful Eating – The Best Meal You’ve Had In Years

Mindful Eating – The Best Meal You’ve Had In Years | Unplug | Scoop.it
Mindful Eating – The Best Meal You’ve Had In Years. Check out this mindfulness exercise for mindful eating. It’s time to really become aware of your food.
craig daniels's insight:

If you've ever taken a class in mindfulness chances are the instructor passed around a box of raisins and asked you to place just one onto your tongue. Once everyone in the class has a single raisin on their tongue the instructor would tell you to feel it's texture, taste it flavor and focus on it's smell while it sits on your tongue.


A first time mindfulness group each with a raisin on their tongue is a sight to behold. The participants all wonder if they are doing it right as they fight back the need to open their eyes and laugh out loud. They wonder if they are doing it right and they wonder what the heck this has to do with anything.


We spend hours everyday preparing and devouring food but we rarely if ever pay attention to the food once it passes our lips. We shovel food in quickly and then move on to our next task.


We miss out on a great opportunity to practice mindfulness and to get a brief glimpse of a moment.

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The Secret? Focus On One Thing.

The Secret? Focus On One Thing. | Unplug | Scoop.it
How should you start off 2014? Focus on one thing.
Susan Taylor's insight:

We feel overwhelmed.  We are inundated with information. Because of the daily flow of data, ideas and knowledge, it’s easy to pile everything onto our To Do list.

 

No one can do everything perfectly every day, "This kind of approach to life has us focused on failing instead of succeeding. We are focused outward instead of inward".

 

The remedy might feel counterintuitive: Focus on one thing and do it well.  Choose the one thing that you know if you did it, it would make you proud.

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Finding Focus in a Distracted World

Finding Focus in a Distracted World | Unplug | Scoop.it
In this Age of Distraction, being able to pay attention is a competitive advantage. Our tips on finding laser-like focus for your creative projects.
Susan Taylor's insight:

This is Age of Information.  It is also the Age of Distraction.

 

We are "on" 24/7 -- confronted with vast amounts of information on a continuous basis every single day.  Some of our workplaces have open-plan cubicles, bringing with them the noise of others' activities. The Internet provides an infinite source of distraction. And smartphones have increased our ability to obtain new information any place and anywhere at any time.

 

"In a world filled with distraction, attention is our competitive advantage". To help you stay on task, Jocelyn Glei has pulled together a selection of top tips to help you find focus in a distracted world.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, January 9, 2014 7:34 PM

The opening quote from Herbert Simon is a telling one. Without mindfulness and presence, we become impoverished in our ability to effectively discern in a world full of information.

 

We can find whatever we want on the Internet, but what does that mean?

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Focus; Be In The Moment

Focus; Be In The Moment | Unplug | Scoop.it
From a very early age we’re told to Focus and often this command is followed by Pay Attention.
craig daniels's insight:

Once we develop focus and embrace attention new doors will open in our lives...

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Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus

Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus | Unplug | Scoop.it
Learning to focus on one task while tuning out the many distractions vying for attention is a crucial life skill that some students are missing.
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Finally Getting Its Share of Attention, Mindfulness

Finally Getting Its Share of Attention, Mindfulness | Unplug | Scoop.it
A term for mental training reaches the height of trendiness, and like yoga before it, may be leaving its mark.


"Nike, General Mills, Target and Aetna encourage employees to sit and do nothing, and with classes that show them how"


“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.” Thich Nhat Hanh.

craig daniels's insight:

Promising substance but  slow to catch on mindfulness is finally gaining the attention so many think it deserves.


Writing in the NYT, David Hochman lays out a compeling overview of how the practice of mindfulness is becoming the norm in many of today's most powerful small and large businesses alike.


Unplugging and paying attention is hot and thousands of business execs already have taken classes in mindfulness.

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Manuela's curator insight, October 28, 2014 2:56 PM

The idea of "coming into presence" - being present in the physical environment instead of in our "web" selves
Various companies are incorporating mindfulness training to their culture
Be conscious of what has to be done and what one is actually doing
The article gives a good overview of the idea of mindfulness, its importance and the way it is being implemented to improve productivity and well-being among employees in various companies. The author cites various experts in different fields supporting the authority of the article. 

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The Science Of Distraction

The Science Of Distraction | Unplug | Scoop.it
In the current world of twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, email, whatsapp and all those other awesome apps, the difficulty of focusing on a task at hand is becoming even greater. Or is it?
craig daniels's insight:

Maybe we are so distracted that we miss all the recent studies that show multi-tasking is a myth, or maybe we get distracted while we are reading the study and promptly forget it.


Niccolo Pantucci's post clearly lays out that distraction does not have to be the order of the day. We can become more focused if we practice mindfulness. Now that's good news, right.

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Three Ways to Stimulate and Encourage Creativity

Three Ways to Stimulate and Encourage Creativity | Unplug | Scoop.it
George Washington Carver said, “Since new developments are the products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.”  With change all ...


"Whether you are working with employees, children, or your own aspirations and goals, there are similarities in ways to fuel someone’s imagination."

craig daniels's insight:

My favorite path to get the creative juices going is to add some fun to a project.

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Multitasking and Distractions: The Web's Effect on Our Brains, Our Memories, and Our Time

Multitasking and Distractions: The Web's Effect on Our Brains, Our Memories, and Our Time | Unplug | Scoop.it
Multitasking is a common practice that many think increases their productivity but it really means that you have constant interruptions ... from yourself.


"Multitasking:  Some questions for you to ponder …

  • How do you relate to the internet?
  • What impact do you see its distractions, large and small, having on your attention, your recollection … and your life?
  • Do you ever unplug?
  • If you do, how does it feel?"
craig daniels's insight:

Oh no not another post about multitasking!  Yes indeed, thoughts and studies about multitasking abound in the media and especially in blog posts of the internet.


In spite of what you coworker tells you multitasking still does not create an army of super efficient workers, what it does create is lots of tasks that are only half done or worse, completed at a low level.


On her blog Paula Eder shares her thoughts about multitasking and I think you find them well worth reading. She also includes a snappy short video about multitasking and our brains. Check it out.

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Gaining Through Subtraction

Gaining Through Subtraction | Unplug | Scoop.it
The author of “The Laws of Subtraction” says that success often comes from knowing what to leave out of a project or situation.


"“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day,” it said, capsulizing teachings of Lao Tzu. “Profit comes from what is there, usefulness from what is not there.”"

craig daniels's insight:

Unplugging and subtraction both require that you prioritize your time, that you decide what is and isn't important to your well-being.


Throughout history movements and religions have taught the benefits of attention and focus and how there two disciplines can enhance our happiness.


Matthew E. May has written a short piece about subtraction and how it can change your life. read more: Taking Away

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Attention Is Precious Every Interaction Counts

"Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks is a 10-minute film and accompanying TED Book from award-winning Director Tiffany Shlain and her team at The Moxie Institute."

craig daniels's insight:

Attention Is Precious Every Interaction Counts... The film compares the internet to a child's brain with connections growing and being pruned at every moment.


What we put on the internet and what we put into our brains is hugely important.


Check out Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks - It's 10 minutes that might change your brain...

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Mindfulness: an antidote for workplace ADD

Mindfulness: an antidote for workplace ADD | Unplug | Scoop.it
Some consultants tell me that the number one problem in the workplace today is attention. People are distracted. They're in a state of what's called "continuous partial attention" where
craig daniels's insight:

A few years ago I managed a catering operation that required of its employees huge bursts of focused attention to get one catering job after another prepared, packaged and out the door on time.


Customers would not understand if we were late with the food for a wedding or family reunion and one of my jobs was to join in with the cooks and preparers both helping and cheer-leading at the same time.


I would see that everyone in the room was constantly distracted by the flood of thoughts swirling around their brains and I had to gently bring them back to the job at hand, kind of like a Zen teacher with a meditation stick (keisaku).


Distraction is part of the human condition, part of life. It doesn't matter if the distractions are within our minds or are created by an electronic device, we struggle with distractions constantly.


It's much easier to point to phones and computers as the cause of the current distraction and it certainly lends itself to a quick fix. Whatever the distraction is, Mindfulness practice can give us a refreshed and renewed sense of focus in all we do.

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