IT'S ALL ABOUT ME |
| TAKE ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART
March 01, 2007
FEEL LIKE YOU'VE GOT ADD? Solutions for the Frazzled and Overwhelmed
About a year ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Edward Hallowell, a Sudbury (Mass.) psychiatrist, who believes many of us are suffering from environmentally induced attention deficit disorder, brought on by technology and activity overload. Tonight, as I dashed from email to homework to dinner to laundry and back—interrupted periodically by my four-year-old pleading for help with just about everything you can imagine— Hallowell’s message was on my mind (that is, to the extent that anything was on my mind for more than a fleeting second).
Not surprisingly, he feels that working parents are particularly susceptible to this syndrome. I have to admit, Hallowell’s description of my life is pretty much dead-on: “They're juggling deadlines, games, rehearsals, and school meetings. They're worrying about how the grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry will get done. People want to do all these activities. But they take on more than they can reasonably do. E-mail tends to facilitate the overscheduling.”
The good doctor has a number of tips for the frazzled masses. I’ve tried to incorporate many of them into my daily life. Despite tonight’s chaos, I feel I’ve made some progress—although I obviously still have a ways to go when it comes to multi-tasking, a tactic Hallowell is particularly down on. (In his recent book CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap – Strategies for Coping in a World Gone ADD, Hallowell presents convincing evidence that the brain cannot focus on more than one thing at a time. The notion that multi-tasking is efficient is simply a myth, he says). Here are some of his other tips:
1) Set aside time to work before you check your e-mail or snail mail or voice mail, before you allow the world to intrude on your fresh and focused state of mind.
2) Do not allow the world to have access to you 24/7. Turn off your BlackBerry and cell phone. Stretch or have a five-minute conversation. When you sit down again, you'll be focused.
3) Prioritizing is crucial. If you don't, you'll find yourself spread so thin you'll only be able to see your good friends on the first Tuesday in February.
4) Give yourself permission to end relationships and projects that drain you.
5) Do what you're good at and delegate the rest. This is important, because when we do what we're good at, the work can take on the quality of play.
6) Keep in mind that some of our best thoughts come when we're doing nothing. Downtime is a forgotten art.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference FEEL LIKE YOU'VE GOT ADD? Solutions for the Frazzled and Overwhelmed:
Six ways not to go Crazybusy from ToDoOrElse.com
Most of the time I feel Im just this side of crashing and burning in this Web 2.0, Future Shocked, too much to do, too many decisions world. If you feel the same, its time to confront this and start getting a handle on it. Crazybusy is a term coined by... [Read More]
Tracked on March 6, 2007 02:41 PM
IT Managers - 10 ways to keep yourself away from stress from Rich Internet Applications (Flash, Flashcom, PHP, MySQL, AMFPHP, Remoting, ColdFusion, Flex) Developer's Blog by Ashvin Savani - Arckid
As a CTO, Project Manager and Owner of the company, I hardly able to find time for myself, my wife or other friends of mine. I need to perform so many tasks to do each and everyday for various clients, need to maintain and train my team members, also n... [Read More]
Tracked on March 6, 2007 04:10 PM
The good doctor missed the obvious:
TURN OFF THE DAMMED TV!
(From soaps to sports to the evening news...wathcing television make you shift your focus every 8 seconds! Gee, I wander why the nation is "suffering" from an attention deficit......6..7..8..OK! You can think about something else now!)
Posted by: James Torguson at March 3, 2007 01:26 AM
Good point. The TV should be saved for a Friday or Saturday night as entertainment. There is enough distractions around the rest of the home that actually need focused attention, and I can never see television as one of them. If you find yourself becoming obsessed with a particular TV show then I think one needs to step back and ask why a TV show ranks high on one's priority list. Is it filling some void?
Posted by: Jim Dugan at March 3, 2007 11:35 AM