Do you ever feel that you’ve been at it for hours but not really got anywhere? That feeling is becoming more and more common in everyday life, both business and personal. As mentioned in an earlier post I recently undertook the 30 day challenge (30DC) from Ed Dale. Through this I actually picked up quite a few new media tools.
The problem is I started noticing that my day was being filled up with distractions rather than ways to increase efficiency. This is not at all a dig at the 30DC but rather a warning for those of you just getting into social media. Be very careful and selective of your usage, What I had gotten into was quite the opposite and it was seriously taking up my time. To put this in perspective before I go in fully, previous studies have shown It takes 25 minutes for you to regain focus on an activity after an interruption.
You may or may not have heard of Twhirl but essentially it’s just a desktop application that provides you with up to the minute notifications of updates by people you follow on FriendFeed and Twitter. I had this program running the entire time I was on the computer, The Result? Every few minutes that all too familiar update sound would play and a little message would appear in the bottom right of my screen. Sometimes I would read the Tweet, sometimes I’d even end up clicking through to a link and reading an entire blog post.
Learning new things is all well and good but it was happening so often that I’d be getting distracted half the time I was logged on. Couple that with the time to get back into a task properly I was working at full capacity about 0% of the time I spent on the PC. You read that right, even though I was getting some things done and of course I was constantly ‘developing’ through these little snippets of information, I was effectively taking my work rate to that of Sloth. Scary hey?
With so many of these tools to make life easier it’s so easy to get wrapped up and not realise what’s happening right in front of your eyes. So what’s the solution to this information overload? To get the most out of your efforts either, Set yourself a specific time period for it’s use or Only use it for specific tasks at a time. I still like the ease of use and extra functionality that Twhirl can provide. Except now I’ve decided to use it for a specific period each day rather than have it interrupting me at every opportunity.
As to the effectiveness of cutting out the noise just look at this post 😉 It’s been a good couple weeks since I got around to adding an update to this blog. I won’t blame that entirely on social media, I have taken on an extra project as well. But it has certainly played it’s part and now it’s time for me to get Super-Efficient payback with my NEW Information Diet, WOW!
Buzz words aside, cut the noise pollution and it’s like being set free. I’ve finally realised another piece of the puzzle that made my recent times spent traveling feel so different, not only was a I light on baggage. Life was light on the mind, I wasn’t being constantly bombarded with information 24/7 and with limited internet usage, every minute counts. If you can take that approach and apply it in your daily life, in most cases I don’t see how it can have a bad effect.