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Event Recap: How to Focus in a World of Distraction

 SMPS' November program, "How to Focus in a World of Distraction" was all about reclaiming time, both professionally and personally. In today's overstimulated world, we are so easily distracted by our phones, family, and even ourselves. So, with the world at our fingertips, how do we refrain from distraction and make the most of the day's 24 hours? Speaker Ellen Moriarty, coach and owner of Clarion Coaching, shared her thoughts.

Her presentation hinged on the idea that we all have the same amount of time – a notion she referred to as the "Great Equalizer." She argues that the people we percieve as "getting it all done" have the same amount of time as we do. The difference? We are distracted and they are not. Ellen shared tips on becoming more "in-distractable," like:

  • Define your distractions and categorize them as avoidable or unavoidable. Distractions can range from social media, family, and finances to hunger and bordeom. While things like social media can be shoved away, things like family cannot. 
  • Be realistic about the time you have and the time it will take to get a task done. 
  • Turn your phone off!
  • Use lists to rank / prioritize tasks.
  • Be present.
  • Prioritize wellness (you can't be in-distractible if you're not healthy!).
  • Do not multi-task!

The presentation turned interactive when Ellen asked participants to perform a task two different ways – multitasking and not. She demonstrated with this exercise that multitasking not only increases the amount of time it takes to do a particular task, but also decreases the quality of that task.

Throughout the discussion, attendees were engaged, providing suggestions and feedback on what methods and techniques help them maintain focus and manage distractions.


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