Time to shift your thinking

Information overload?

Do you find time flying by faster than ever, leaving little or no space for the things you used to enjoy doing?

Are you racing from one half finished job to the next, going underprepared to yet another meeting, making multi-tasking your default mode? Do you feel a sense of inner frenzy and distraction?

Then stop for a minute.

Chances are you are experiencing information overload. In this state your brain becomes incapable of performing as well as you expect it to. In a leadership context you begin to make poor decisions, your time management goes to pot, you struggle to prioritise, you stop thinking about your people and you risk burn out.

So, just stop for a minute.

Ask yourself, how much meaningful communication in the workplace have you engaged in face to face rather than electronically over the last few weeks? How much of the masses of information you have absorbed has made a difference to the way you think rather than superficially cluttered your brain? You may be well “connected” but are you flourishing in warm, compassionate social contact with other human beings or is most of your interaction reduced to 140 characters or less?

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Give yourself permission to power down the computer, switch off the phone, put the blackberry away. Humans are a social species, we need close social contact to grow and be our best. Embrace this by disconnecting yourself from the technology which fills your headspace with clatter and noise, and see how beautiful the sounds which replace it can be.

If all this sounds a bit scary, then as a starter for ten try:

  • Turning off notification alarms;
  • Doing one thing at a time and giving it your full attention;
  • Introducing media-free time at home;
  • Making time for face to face interaction.

By making time and space to focus on what is actually in front of you, you may well find that you are more able to identify what (or who) is really important and give it the attention it deserves.

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