KC22: How To Manage Weapons Of Mass Distraction For Higher Productivity Episode

Do you struggle to stay focused & be productive?

Are you constantly bombarded by tech notifications?

In today’s episode, we’ll look at the weapons of mass distraction, what it has caused and how to manage it to have great productivity.

Let’s start by defining what distraction is.

The word DISTRACTION first came into play in the mid 15th century and it means the drawing away of the mind or attention.

Aside from the obvious impact to productivity, on the extreme end, distraction has also caused many road accidents and loss of precious lives all over the world.

By the way, are you aware that attention spans are at an all time low for us human beings?

The average human attention span in 2000 is 12 seconds
 while in 2013, it is 8 seconds.

A goldfish has 9 seconds!

Apart from our smartphones, we also have wearables. Is it any wonder why we’re struggling to focus in this high tech age?

The problem has escalated so seriously that we’ve come up with terms like “Phantom Vibration Syndrome” or ringxiety which is perceived vibrations from a device that is not really vibrating.

Weapons of Mass Distraction

There are numerous weapons of mass distraction. Let’s enumerate & name some of them.

We’ve got…

SMS (Short Message Service)

Voice calls


Et Cetera

We won’t go into sophisticated models of estimating how much distraction costs.

For simplicity’s sake…

Let’s say your time is worth $100 an hour. If you lose an hour to two each day, that’s around $200 right there!

Over a month, that’s 6 grand. In a year, that’s 72 grand!

Can you imagine the impact over the entire lifetime for just 1 human being?

So here’s the thing really…

If being purposeful & productive is truly important to us, we got to ask ourselves…
Am I Using THIS Strategically And Profitably?” for each of the channels I named just a while back.

In other words, we got to go through each platform we use and be truthful with ourselves. We have got to become acutely aware and highly conscious of how each impacts us. For the platforms that aren’t serving us at all, we got to avoid it completely! (Like TV…)

For the ones that are necessary yet not important at all times, we’ve got the option to turn off their notifications and the easiest way to aid us in doing so is by being mindful & understanding the cost of NOT doing it.

For what it’s worth, I find it interesting & ironic at the same time that we’re using one piece of technology just to curb or deal with distraction arising from technology itself.

What I Personally Do

Allow me to share with you what I PERSONALLY do to give myself the best space for productivity.

I pre-communicate to my loved ones especially my wife & partner of my intention to FOCUS and also share with them my production hours.

Once I’m done communicating, I simply turn off my 4G or WIFI mode. This way, they minimize the need to communicate with me UNLESS absolutely necessary!

On this note, you can also inform them ahead of time of when you’ll next come online, check your phone, etc.

For tools like Skype, allow yourself to go into offline mode unless you’re actively using it.

When it comes to emails, there is absolutely no need to check it 20 times a day.

You simply need to determine & designate 2 to 3 specific times a day to manage it.

Do give each of your tasks your undivided attention.

No multi-tasking allowed! Great work seldom comes out of it.

Each night before you sleep, turn ON airplane mode so you won’t be disturbed by unimportant notifications.

In this way, you get a great night’s rest so you can begin each day fresh & excited and quite certainly, your mind & body will thank you for it.

As we wrap up, we’ve talked about the consequences of distraction and I’ve also shared my ways in which I manage the weapons of mass distraction.

I hope you’ll employ one or more of these suggestions so you can obtain greater productivity for yourself.

Thank you for giving attention to this.

You’ll find more strategies for higher productivity at KelvinChan.org 🙂