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Do You Have “ADT”?

The January 16th edition of Time Magazine has a fantastic article on The Mind. I thought that I would share some of the points in the article along with some of my own thoughts.

This is especially timely as I was recently asked by a client “how do you get it all done”. This lead to an article that I am writing on “Getting Out Of Overwhelm”.

“ADT” is what Dr. Hallowell calls Attention-Deficit Trait in his book, Driven To Distraction.

The systems of the “ADT” and Attention Deficit Disorder are similar but only in some situations.

Like when you are working and you are dealing with the latest addiction now called a “crackberry” along with appointments, e-mail, open door meetings, personal calls, surfing the web and let’s not forget the actual project that you intended to work on. People are brainwashed into thinking that shooting from the hip is fantastic versus giving things the adequate thought that they require.

Continually switching back and forth which is actually praised by some people is driving people to impatience, irritability, inefficiency, inability to prioritize leading to impulsiveness and the feelings of inadequacy and guilt.

I too have been feeling challenged by this especially after the relocation of my office and home office. Actual project work is out the window when I am facing the above noted distractions along with oh yeah, I’ve got to do this, and that, and this, and then there is that and so on.

Interruptions are believed to consume 2.1 hours or 28% of our work day. Researchers have found that people are able to focus just 11 minutes on average on a project before they are interrupted and that it takes 25 minutes to fully return to the thought patterns of the original task. This is just incredible! Imagine loosing the 25 minutes per hour plus the time of the distraction to meet some outside need valid or not. When you consider that on average, people have 12 projects on the go at once this is just unacceptable.

So what do you do about it?

You must get very clear on your vision, related projects, prioritize your projects, schedule project time and schedule time for interruptions, like e-mail, phone calls and team meetings. Before you do this, get your needs met and clarify your values or you will continue to be a puppet on a sting. Click here to find out more about our Being An Advisor Coaching Program.

A striking number of the most recent winners of the Macarthur “Genius” Grants keep their cell phones and PDAs off while in transit to give them time to think. Suze Orman says “I do one thing at a time, I do it well and then I move on.”

Something funny came to my attention in the article about one person talking about shutting off their e-mail dinger 9 years ago. I had to laugh because I have forgotten there was such a thing because I turned it off in the last millennium.

There is more to follow in my forthcoming article on “Getting Out Of Overwhelm”.

Click the following link to receive the article “Help! I’ve lost my focus” from Time Magazine.