September 27, 2010

Information Overload

With all of the electronic devices people use, in addition to books, newspapers, magazines, movies, advertisements, etc., it’s no surprise that adults feel that their attention is constantly diverted by something new.

Katy Reid wrote an informative, yet entertaining article called “May I Have My Attention, Please?” Although the information is relevant to all adults, people over 50 appear to have a greater challenge filtering distractions, due to normal aging changes.

Ms. Reid refers to the “attention crisis” we face and to Linda Stone, who came up with the term “continuous partial attention” to honestly describe what most of us refer to as multitasking.

Starting projects and not completing them, along with shifting between tasks, may increase people’s stress levels.

To counteract “information-fatigue syndrome,” you can work on changing your habits.
  • Focus on just one thing
  • Finish what you start
  • Close your email program and turn off the alarm
  • Give yourself permission to avoid the TV/radio/newspaper/internet for a specified period of time
  • Spend some time in quiet reflection
You can read the entire article here and you can read more from Linda Stone at The Attention Project

Just not at the same time. Please.

What’s your best suggestion for focusing your attention? Click on Post a Comment, below, and tell us.

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